I think there remains a lot of scope for Apple being even more innovative in how these pieces are glued together. I'm not sure I'm interested in deconstructing the MacBook Pro -- that seems to be (prove me wrong, Apple!) a more or less perfect instantiation of a PARTICULAR usage model.I've kind of had the iPad Magic Keyboard design on my mind too. Is something like this possible on notebooks?
The iPad also has this "canvas mode"
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But I think something similar to the Surface Studio's "drafting mode" might also be achievable for notebooks:
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I'm sure artists and designers would appreciate their Macbooks being touch-accessible, and the rest of us will like the compatibility with iOS apps.
Of course, the iPad's flexibility is underpinned by the working parts all being behind the screen, so it can just be lifted away from it and set back down in a new position. The Surface Studio, on the other hand, has a bulky and powerful hinge to connecting the screen to the base, with a second axis at the screen-and-stand connection point:
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So there are a couple of options here. First, a fanless Macbook with an could just be a tablet running OS X and using an iPad-style Magic Keyboard - basically working the same way the iPad Pro does now. I don't like the idea of it being severable from its base when it's mostly useless without a keyboard and trackpad, though.
The second is some kind of hinge that works like the Studio but is thinner and relies a lot more on magnet tech. They'd still have to run a display cable through it. I don't fully understand how the iPad Pro allows the screen to swivel like the Surface does without having a second axis - magnets, how do they work - but I guess it is possible. Is it possible with the screen glued down to a display cable though? I'd really have to have one in my hands to visualize it and think through whether it's achievable.
EDIT: The trackpad on the magic keyboard is also really small, despite having 8.5 inches of height to work with. This is necessary to accommodate the floating screen not getting in the way of the keyboard as you type. The Macbook 16 also has 8.5 inches of height - but I don't think it can swallow the tiny touchpad, which is a major roadblock to this design.
But for something like the iPad where you may be working a lot less with keyboard and fine pointing, I'd like to see to see the canvas mode you displayed drop the keyboard from the screen, and allow an iPhone nearby to be used as the keyboard for those rare occasions when you need the keyboard for this work. This is what I lamented in my other post above, that for all Apple's lateral thinking in the space (vastly ahead of everyone else, whether it's Intel, MS, Samsung, or Google), there is still so much low-lying fruit to be picked, still obvious ways to make all the existing Apple devices better (and, along the way, therefore sell more of them...)
BTW here's what I was referring to as my iPad reader stand:
Cost about $50 in parts and half an hour in construction, holds an iPad Pro 12.9" stably, can be swung to the side when not in use, can hold the iPad in portrait or landscape, and vertically for reading with your back to the wall, or horizontally if you want to let gravity take over and lie flat against the bed.
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