Would you want a Macbook Pro with a touchscreen?


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jamezr

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
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Like the title says...would you want Apple to release a Macbook Pro with a touchscreen?
 

revmacian

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Absolutely not. Putting a Touch Screen on a Mac would require the macOS UI to change in order to avoid activating the wrong item on screen. Some screen elements would have to be enlarged and/or moved further away from neighboring elements. The macOS UI is already ugly enough, now that everything is flat and there is so much pointless translucency all over the place, we don't really need it getting worse. We don't need more silly features driving up the price.

Just my $0.02
 
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jamezr

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
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Absolutely not. Putting a Touch Screen on a Mac would require the macOS UI to change in order to avoid activating the wrong item on screen. Some screen elements would have to be enlarged and/or moved further away from neighboring elements. The macOS UI is already ugly enough, now that everything is flat and there is so much pointless translucency all over the place, we don't really need it getting worse. We don't need more silly features driving up the price.

Just my $0.02
Personally I would love to have a MBP with a touchscreen. It would offer more functionality than my iPad. I know Apple has the technical ability to do this...I'm just curious as ti why they haven't done so yet?
Maybe afraid of canalizing iPad sales?
 
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revmacian

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Personally I would love to have a MBP with a touchscreen. It would offer more functionality than my iPad. I know Apple has the technical ability to do this...I'm just curious as ti why they haven't done so yet?
Maybe afraid of canalizing iPad sales?
Either that or putting all of the tech required for a touch screen into a Mac would drive the price up so high that MBP's sales would suffer. Touch screen tech involves a lot more than most people realize and would put extra strain on the battery. A projected capacitive touch screen consisting of two diamond-grid pattern screens (tin oxide) sandwiching a clear insulator. Touching the screen causes a disruption in the electric field between the two diamond-pattern screens - needs more battery power. And all of that has to be built on top of the display we already have on the Mac notebooks. Oh, and they will have to strengthen the display glass too, since it's made to be touched, to guard against scratches. Expect a large jump in Mac prices.
 
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jamezr

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
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Either that or putting all of the tech required for a touch screen into a Mac would drive the price up so high that MBP's sales would suffer. Touch screen tech involves a lot more than most people realize and would put extra strain on the battery. A projected capacitive touch screen consisting of two diamond-grid pattern screens (tin oxide) sandwiching a clear insulator. Touching the screen causes a disruption in the electric field between the two diamond-pattern screens - needs more battery power. And all of that has to be built on top of the display we already have on the Mac notebooks. Oh, and they will have to strengthen the display glass too, since it's made to be touched, to guard against scratches. Expect a large jump in Mac prices.
Hmmm... Dare I say it but...Windows laptops have touchscreens without being big and bulky..then they get great battery life and competitive prices.
 
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casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Either that or putting all of the tech required for a touch screen into a Mac would drive the price up so high that MBP's sales would suffer. Touch screen tech involves a lot more than most people realize and would put extra strain on the battery. A projected capacitive touch screen consisting of two diamond-grid pattern screens (tin oxide) sandwiching a clear insulator. Touching the screen causes a disruption in the electric field between the two diamond-pattern screens - needs more battery power. And all of that has to be built on top of the display we already have on the Mac notebooks. Oh, and they will have to strengthen the display glass too, since it's made to be touched, to guard against scratches. Expect a large jump in Mac prices.

And also all the design changes that would have to be done to the software you mentioned earlier, which would make the experience worse on non-touch platforms or just for non-touch use, or require even more manpower to code it to be a multi-design system depending on which use-paradigm you were in which would also be very expensive in software development costs, not to mention it'd require app developers to also factor in all of this when developing their apps, reducing developer interest in the platform as more work is required for your app to offer a good user experience.
It'd also be very unergonomic as @junkw points out, which could have detrimental effects on users' physical conditions, increasing risks of RSI and the like. Now Apple's keyboards and such are already not exactly designed to limit RSI, but something like a touch screen would really not be good for your body.
It'd also really grease up the display quite quickly, and with such excellent trackpad, what's the point?

Now Apple Pencil support on those huge trackpads, working like a Wacom... That'd be pretty sweet.
[automerge]1576377689[/automerge]
Hmmm... Dare I say it but...Windows laptops have touchscreens without being big and bulky..then they get great battery life and competitive prices.

Economy of scale. Apple likes to stick to 16:10 displays, which I for one appreciate. Those Windows laptops usually buy their display panels and thus also touch layers from the same places in 16:9 configurations, quite standard and all.
Furthermore, the Mac is already quite expensive, and have used their budget on things more directly beneficial to the user than something Apple has many times stated they think offers a worse user experience. Yes we could maintain the cost of the Mac as is... But we'd reduce the quality of speakers, mic, trackpad, keyboard, SSD or something else
 
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revmacian

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Hmmm... Dare I say it but...Windows laptops have touchscreens without being big and bulky..then they get great battery life and competitive prices.
Yes, but those manufacturers don't price all of their offerings as if they were top-of-the-line items. Most Windows notebooks are junk (plastic, cheap, etc.). You can get a touch screen Windows laptop at Best Buy in my area for about $599 and it's flimsy. The cheapest laptop from an Apple store is, what.. $1099?
 
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jamezr

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Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
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Yes, but those manufacturers don't price all of their offerings as if they were top-of-the-line items. Most Windows notebooks are junk (plastic, cheap, etc.). You can get a touch screen Windows laptop at Best Buy in my area for about $599. The cheapest laptop from an Apple store is, what.. $1099?
But you can also get touchscreens on high end Windows laptops as well. Then the internals are all about the same aren't they?
 
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revmacian

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And also all the design changes that would have to be done to the software you mentioned earlier, which would make the experience worse on non-touch platforms or just for non-touch use, or require even more manpower to code it to be a multi-design system depending on which use-paradigm you were in which would also be very expensive in software development costs, not to mention it'd require app developers to also factor in all of this when developing their apps, reducing developer interest in the platform as more work is required for your app to offer a good user experience.
It'd also be very unergonomic as @junkw points out, which could have detrimental effects on users' physical conditions, increasing risks of RSI and the like. Now Apple's keyboards and such are already not exactly designed to limit RSI, but something like a touch screen would really not be good for your body.
It'd also really grease up the display quite quickly, and with such excellent trackpad, what's the point?

Now Apple Pencil support on those huge trackpads, working like a Wacom... That'd be pretty sweet.
[automerge]1576377689[/automerge]


Economy of scale. Apple likes to stick to 16:10 displays, which I for one appreciate. Those Windows laptops usually buy their display panels and thus also touch layers from the same places in 16:9 configurations, quite standard and all.
Furthermore, the Mac is already quite expensive, and have used their budget on things more directly beneficial to the user than something Apple has many times stated they think offers a worse user experience. Yes we could maintain the cost of the Mac as is... But we'd reduce the quality of speakers, mic, trackpad, keyboard, SSD or something else
And, for all we know, Apple have already designed test units of the MBP and MBA with touch screens and have decided that it simply isn't feasible.
 
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casperes1996

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And, for all we know, Apple have already designed test units of the MBP and MBA with touch screens and have decided that it simply isn't feasible.

Would find it extremely likely that they have tested it out for basically everything yes. They probably prototype a lot of things that don't come to market all the time.
 
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revmacian

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But you can also get touchscreens on high end Windows laptops as well. Then the internals are all about the same aren't they?
No such thing as a "high end Windows laptop". You can have "high end" or you can have "Windows", but you can't have both. You can have the best hardware on the planet, but the moment it ships with Windows is the moment you realize you've purchased a Porsche and replaced the engine with a hamster wheel.
 
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jamezr

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Aug 7, 2011
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No such thing as a "high end Windows laptop". You can have the best hardware on the planet, but the moment it ships with Windows is the moment you realize you've purchased a Porsche and replaced the engine with a hamster wheel.
I can see your point when it comes to the software...but the hardware is generally the same.
So that Porsche would still run the same because the hardware is all the same. The software is what separates Apple laptops and Windows laptops...not the hardware.
 
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Saturn1217

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Apr 28, 2008
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No. I would really hate that. I wouldn't want to use a touchscreen laptop. Even when I use an iPad with a keyboard I am annoyed at the constant need to reach up to touch the screen.

A touchscreen adds complexity/weight and expense to a laptop. I would personally want to avoid all of these tradeoffs for a feature I would find annoying to use. MUCH WORSE, a touchscreen laptop would necessitate changes to macOS to accommodate touchscreen users. Changes which would make the use of space less efficient for those who would like to use their laptop with traditional keyboard and mouse input.

We all know how Apple operates. They don't provide options. They make a decision and then all their products kind of switch gears to follow that direction. IF Apple released a touchscreen laptop: a) it is highly likely that their high end laptops (ie MBPs) would ONLY be available with a touchscreen. It wouldn't be an option and it would be stupidly expensive. b) mac OS would change FOR EVERYONE to be touchscreen friendly which would make macOS worse for users who decided to hold onto their old non-touchscreen laptops.

So yeah. I'm really really happy that Apple hasn't decided to go this route. I love tech. I like trying new things. I've had the opportunity to use touchscreen laptops. I REALLY just don't get this one. I don't understand why people keep asking for it (barring those in graphic design where I can see the appeal).
 
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Lone Deranger

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Now Apple Pencil support on those huge trackpads, working like a Wacom... That'd be pretty sweet.

This! I've been hoping/praying for this ever since they released the Apple Pencil. They could disable the trackpad haptic click as soon as it registers the pencil being used so it wouldn't be a nuisance with the Pencil.

What I'm really hoping for though is Apple actually releasing a large scale (30-40") drawing tablet for macOS, akin to the Dell Canvas, Wacom Cintiq, Huion Kamvas, etc. But with Apple's superior tech, engineering and attention to detail, ie. no gap between Pencil tip and pixel, build quality, better UX/driver support (Wacom drivers are terrible), etc. Probably never gonna happen though, but one can dream.
 
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casperes1996

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No. I would really hate that. I wouldn't want to use a touchscreen laptop. Even when I use an iPad with a keyboard I am annoyed at the constant need to reach up to touch the screen.

I agree. I pretty much keep my iPad in the Smart Keyboard constantly, and find myself wishing there was a trackpad a lot of the time.
 
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revmacian

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Different question. I don't care if they release one, but I wouldn't want to pay for that feature myself, since I wouldn't use it.
Agreed. It wouldn't be bad if they kept up with non-touch screen models alongside touch screen models. This would seem to please everyone.. so long as the prices matched the features - the non-touch screen models would be much cheaper since they wouldn't have the touch screen.
 
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faust

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Sep 11, 2007
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No such thing as a "high end Windows laptop". You can have "high end" or you can have "Windows", but you can't have both. You can have the best hardware on the planet, but the moment it ships with Windows is the moment you realize you've purchased a Porsche and replaced the engine with a hamster wheel.

Yeahh, I love Apple computers, but Thinkpads are pretty great. Even while using Windows. Let's not delude ourselves by saying Apple doesn't crap itself and keeps on about their business while everyone is wondering why the bad man is sitting at Starbucks smelling like feces. iOS 13 has been an undeniable hot mess, and Catalina had suffered numerous issues at launch. And let's also not deny that they released horrid Macbook Pros/Airs from 2016 until the 16" MBP launched. Anybody who defends the butterfly switch keyboard design should be institutionalized.
 
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topcat001

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Nov 17, 2019
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The Windows touch UI is quite horrible. I actually like Windows a lot so this is not hate. I hardly ever use touch on my Surface. Not suitable for a laptop.
 
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revmacian

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I wonder if it would be feasible to have the touch screen installed by special order only, and the rest of Apple's notebooks would be the regular displays we have now. That may help please everyone.
 
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paulCC

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2012
88
54
The only reason Apple is not making a 2-in-1 is to protect the iPad and MacBook markets - a decent Apple 2-in-1 based on MacOS would cannibalize the iPad market.
So I believe there are no technical or UI design obstacles - Apple just wants us to buy Macbooks and iPads.

While I am still going along with this blackmail, I have to admit - the HP x360 machines are really tempting.
 
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