Will the Retina MacBook ever get a Touch Screen?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rhyzome, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. rhyzome macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2012
    Title says it all. I suppose the question could be reformulated as whether the iPad Pro might run OS X.

    Given the Apple Pencil it seems that some kind of OS X touchscreen device would be more and more cool...
  2. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    Nope. That would add weight and hurt battery life. Because Apple dominates amongst desktop publishing types, the Pencil for the tablet makes some sense. For a notebook, there are pen peripherals that do a better job and most are docked to a monitor anyway.

    As Tim Cook has preached, Apple believes there is no tablet/notebook hybrid as it doesn't add flexibility, it just compromises both experiences. You look at the Surface Book and it's a heavy notebook and a low-battery-life tablet. And for what? The sake of taking notes in 2 classes a day?

  3. bbrks macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2013
  4. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    The touch pad on the RMB is fantastic. Not sure what you're talking about.

  5. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    Unless Apple comes up with a new OS I think not likely. Adding a touchscreen to the rMB would benefit ...?
    It would negatively impact the MB Air and iPad Pro.
    Think it more likely a new device with a OS X style touch based OS is more likely IMO. ;)
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Yes, touch screen on a rMB will be there, just as soon as Apple provides support for that within OS X.
    Also, providing support in OS X for use with the iPad Pro would also mean adding touch screen to OS X.

    From what I have seen and read, Apple has not, up to this time, shown any interest in adding touch screen support to OS X.
  7. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    ...releases MacBook For Windows 10 in its retail stores and genius bars.

    Yes, I can see that.

  8. bbrks macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2013
    Of course, with that touch pad, why would you need a touch screen:D
  9. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    Tim is wrong about that. I got a Yoga 900 to replace my iPad3 and an older HP Vista laptop, and I'm very happy with it. I split time about 50/50 between modes. I especially like it as a tablet. It's certainly bigger and heavier than an iPad, and not everyone would like that. But for me, it's a great system overall. What Tim wants to do is prevent consolidation of the tablet and laptop markets. But IMO he's missing a great opportunity.
  10. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    It's great that you like your Yoga, but Tim's compromises are evident everywhere with that solution. The screen is dim, it weighs more than carrying a RMB and an iPad Air II, and with only 8 hours of battery life you're down about 10 hours to the Apple combo. What you did was save money and that's really what these convertibles are all about anyway. It's not about a better experience, it's about being cheaper than a MacBook and an iPad individually. It's just like the Netbook when that was all the rage as the way to save the notebook business. Compromise and make it cheap. Not the Apple way.

    I don't run OSX, I only run Windows 10 on my RMB, and I've never used the Windows 10 touchscreen but if Apple seriously decided to pursue the 92% of the world that must run Windows machines it's something they'd have to add.

    The RMB touchpad is excellent. Configurable under Boot Camp as well.

  11. lite426 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2013
    Poor confugurability of touchpad forcetouch on Windows - no option to set it to light & silent click as on OS X. But a lot smoother tracking on Windows.
  12. Wowereit macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2016
    The Surface Book is heavy?
    13.5" without GPU 1.515 Kg, with GPU 1.579 Kg.
    13.3" 1.58 Kg

    13.5" tablet part:
    0.726 Kg
    12.9" iPad Pro:
    0.713 Kg

    Of course the tablet comparison is unfair, most battery is inside the base.
    But the overall weight is reasonable, I'm more concerned about the thickness.
  13. Mw0103 macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2014
    I have no desire for fingerprints on my computer screen. Ugh.
  14. Queen6, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Personally I believe it would be a great option and there is a definitely a market for convertibles, as Microsoft are proving with Surface. For some the additional utility of a convertible can and does add to their workflows, as does accurate pen input.

    I like the fact that Microsoft are innovating and developing the Surface line at a fairly brisk pace, Apple are more focused on a wider based consumer product, with a near obsessive focus on "thin & light". Surface Book & Surface Pro 4 are not for all, equally they are becoming a serious proposition in 2016. I also expect that Microsoft will learn much from the current Surface Book with the second generation being significantly improved.

    Apple deliberately diverges their product lines with the intention to force the consumer to buy ever more hardware, as they should generating greater revenue. Ultimately is just conjecture as it`s highly unlikely that Apple will do little more with the Mac than continue the "enforced diet" making it more attractive to the average consumer, those needing more thankfully have other options.

  15. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    No, never. Steve says touchscreen on laptops suck so that's gospel.
  16. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    The reason why I got the Yoga wasn't to save money. The reason was because I was really tired of what IOS8 and 9 did to my iPad3. I was looking to get an Air 3 last October, but of course that didn't happen. So, I got the Yoga instead, and got a Win10 laptop as a side benefit. The thing that I disliked about it was the Lenovo apps they stuff onto it. One of them trashed my boot sector, and I had to reinstall. I did that from the MS site and didn't put the Lenovo apps back on it, and it has been a real champ ever since. I also have 2 rMBPs, so I still get my OSX ya yas from them. But for just media consumption, the Yoga in tablet mode has been better (for me, anyway) than the iPad3 was. I think if Apple were to offer a 2-1, it would be a typical Apple product - high quality, attractive, a little behind in technology, and way too expensive. But it would still sell like crazy. Building a hybrid OSX - IOS OS would go against Apple's philosophy of separation for touch and keyboard systems. But I tend to think there's a convergence coming, and Apple should be out in front of it. I'll talk with Tim about this the next time he calls me......:D
  17. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    When the combined weight of the notebook and the iPad are less than any of these "hybrids" it renders these hybrids an inconsequential compromise.

    My RMB and my iPad Air weigh 2.99 pounds and a Yoga weighs 3.03 pounds.

    My combo gets 19 hours of battery life and a Yoga gets 7.

    My RMB is a better notebook than the notebook portion of a Yoga and my iPad is a better tablet than the tablet portion of a Yoga.

    My RMB and iPad Air combo cost $2,298. A Yoga costs $999.

    While your motivation may be different, the typical buyer looks at a hybrid as a way to save money and for PC makers in a dried-up market, it's a Hail Mary to try to stop the bleeding, just like netbooks from a few years ago.

  18. lockerc18, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016

    lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    I don't know the specs about weight, so that could be true. But your assertions about the RMB being a better notebook than a Yoga and the iPad being a better tablet are in the eyes of the beholder. Perhaps I should have mentioned that the Yoga I got is the 900 model. That is uplevel in many aspects from previous Yogas that you're looking at, given the price you quote. Frankly, not to say anything negative about your RMB because it's a really nice system, this Yoga is a far better performer. It has 8GB RAM (and can go to 16), a dual core SkyLake i7 processor, a 256 GB SSD (albeit SATA, not PCIe, and it can go to 512), and a QHD+ display with better resolution than either your RMB or iPad Air. Etc.

    But honestly, none of that matters. This doesn't resolve to a spec war. You are welcome to carry around 2 devices if you want to. I didn't want to. Granted, the ergonomics of the tablet mode are different than the iPad Air, and the Air is better at being just a tablet. But the Yoga is a great laptop, too, and the 900 does improve on the battery life from the older models. But the main thing is that Apple did a very thorough job of killing my iPad3 with the fiascos of IOS8 and IOS9. That strategy of planned obsolescence fried me and turned me against ever getting another IOS device. As I said before, I wanted to get an Air 3, and would have if Apple had shipped it last fall. But Apple didn't ship it, and I got the Yoga instead, so Apple missed out on at least that one sale. The Yoga might not be the right system for everyone, and I'm not shilling for Lenovo here at all. But for me, it's been really good so far, and it's a lot better environment than my iPad3 evolved to be. All I'm saying is that, IMO, Apple is missing out on the hybrid market, when they could make a fantastic product for it.
  19. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
  20. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Jul 25, 2011
    I don't think it's a matter of whether they could make a fantastic product. Speaking exclusively of hardware, I don't think there's any question whatever Apple would (and likely already has, behind closed doors in the lab) come up with as far as a hybrid goes would be one of, if not the best, overall hybrids on the market today.

    However, historically speaking Apple sits on the bench until they come up with something truly different. Examples: tablets, smartwatches, notebooks...the list goes on. For every category they invent, the follow behind in 5 more. I believe Apple has chosen not to enter into the 'hybrid' category because they feel they aren't in a position to really differentiate or create something truly new and revolutionary. Apple thrives on making great products...whatever hybrid they could come up with would have great hardware, but not a great overall experience.

    And in my opinion, they're right! Don't get me wrong about hybrids, the idea is really interesting. The Surface line is actually pretty cool, and I'll admit I pretty much hate Microsoft. But what Apple is likely conflicted with is the software for such a device, not the hardware. While OS X has adopted many features of iOS, the two are still very different creatures. Until the feature gap and usability of tablet applications evolves to the point where the gap isn't quite so large, then I don't think Apple will seriously consider a hybrid solution.

    Apple is too proud of iOS and OS X as individual platforms to just throw them together and call it a day. Until they can converge the two into an experience that really benefits/takes advantage of apps across both platforms, then I don't think the value is really there. The iPad is a consumption device, OS X products are productivity devices. Until the day comes that the two platforms look more similar than different, then I don't think we'll see a hybrid device from Apple. Given the current pace, I absolutely don't think such a device will exist for at least the next 3 years. But that's just my $.02 :)
  21. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Light and silent and force are new TP's only, actually I find I have got use to tapping opposed to click on windows TP's now as they are not as nice as Apple, the click is a bit to clunky but tap is quite and responsive
  22. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    It sounds like you're happy, and that's great. And I'm a Windows 10 user and certainly having a native Lenovo PC has its advantages over my RMB running Windows via Boot Camp.

    What we're talking about is really about portability which is at the core of the three devices we're referring to, frankly the reason for their existence. We're in agreement that the iPad is the best tablet, it's better than the upper half of the Yoga, mainly because of the app store and the media and its size and its battery life. When discussing the notebooks, I still believe the RMB to be a better design than the Yoga, it almost has to be more efficient and of better build quality because it's not trying to do two things, it's not trying to be a notebook and a tablet. It's just a notebook.

    Anecdotal, but tonight we needed to get out of the house, cooped up for the day because of the extreme cold, went to the biggest mall on the east coast here in NJ. Went past the Apple store and it was packed, must have been 200 people in there. About sixty seconds later, we passed by the Microsoft store, it was empty. Not a single customer, just salespeople. Lots of signs in the windows, lots of videos playing, all about convertibles and notebook/tablet combos. Zero interest.

  23. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Who knows? Apple has made many u-turns in the past.
  24. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i think a convertible could be done, and apple might do it some day, but it doesn't seem like that is going to happen anytime soon. they doubled down on the ipad with the pro and on the macbook with the rmb.

    if i had a different use case, i might get a surface pro, but with my needs now, i benefit the most from osx, and i enjoy it a lot more, so i can live without a convertible. with the apple trackpad, i have zero interest in a touch-screen rmb.

    i think i was at freehold (nj) a while back and saw the microsoft store with more people. but, they had x-box or something out in front of the store and everyone was there for it. great marketing idea, but i doubt it was translating into many more computer sales. the apple store was in-between products at the time, so i can see why folks weren't in there at the time.
  25. WickedPorter macrumors regular


    Sep 28, 2012
    Interesting ... ours looks identical to this every time I go by as well. :)

    My thoughts on this matter ... I like the idea of a hybrid device. I think Apple could create something, within most of their rules, that could partly satisfy some of the desires for such a device.

    I call it the MacPad Pro. It's an iPad Pro that docks to a keyboard base, similar to the Surface Book. The differences being:
    1. When undocked, it's an iPad only.
    2. When docked, you have the choice of running OS X or iOS. Switching back and forth should be quick.
    3. Touch screen disabled when in Mac mode, Perhaps they could enable the Pencil for some apps, but probably not.
    4. The operating systems can share certain files, like media (photos, videos, music, etc).
    5. Include a force touch trackpad, enabled in OS X mode. When using iOS in docked mode, it can be used for certain multitouch gestures only.
    The dock could contain extra battery power, it could also hold a GPU for more powerful graphics if needed when using the Mac side... and perhaps some dedicated RAM for the Mac side as well as an Intel chipset (or perhaps if this device is ever produced, both platforms will have moved to the A* SoCs?)

    Maybe the dock portion could also act as a quasi-Mac Mini, able to run Mac OS as a desktop when the iPad portion is not connected.

    I like the idea, but it could get pretty complicated. It doesn't follow the simplistic model that Apple swears by.

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