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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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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