Apple transforming laptop slides from MacBook to iPad

Apple is planning a transforming portable computer. The fruit-flavoured manufacturer has won a patent showing a MacBook that turns into an iPad.

Apple is planning a transforming portable computer. The fruit-flavoured manufacturer has been granted a patent showing a MacBook that turns into an iPad.

The device starts off looking like a standard MacBook laptop. But then the screen slides flat against the keyboard and ta-dah! It's a tablet. iPad slide, anyone?

The iPad kicked off a boom in tablets, with a host of rival slates hitting shelves this year and many more on the way. Some manufacturers are offering the best of both laptops and tablets with machines that offer both a physical keyboard and tablet portability. The Dell Inspiron Duo includes a nifty flippy screen, while the Eee PC T101MT includes a folding, twisting display. The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid has a screen that that actually detaches from the rest of the computer to become a LePad tablet.

One drawback of these devices is they're more chunky than a standalone tablet. Apple doesn't do obese devices, and if it applies the super-slender design of the MacBook Air to the sliding concept it could be skinnier than a model on a diet.

The sliding concept is just that for now: a concept. There's no guarantee Apple will ever produce it, cool as it is. It appears in a patent related to touchsreen scrolling, as an example of devices that could use the patented technology.

Other recent patents granted to the company include a power lead that will also include fibre-optic cable to speedily transfer data. It's a new take on Apple's MagSafe power cable, which uses a magnet to attach to the computer so it doesn't damage the computer if hastily pulled out. The company has also patented a glasses-free 3D projector.

Slide on down to the comments and tell us your thoughts. Is this the perfect hybrid of laptop and tablet or a ill-conceived chimera of an idea?

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