New Patent Reveals that Apple is Working on a Tablet/Notebook Hybrid

Apple tablet:laptop hybridWhen Microsoft first announced that it would be launching its own tablet, many speculated that the company was planning on a tablet/laptop hybrid. In Apple’s second quarter earnings call in April of 2012, CEO Tim Cook said a hybrid is a bad idea. When asked about a Windows 8 tablet/laptop hybrid, Cook said, “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.” He was basically saying that the merging of two devices does not necessarily produce a third device that is better than its two parts.

Patently Apple has just discovered an interesting patent that proves the company is thinking the exact opposite of Cook’s sentiments a year ago.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent submission from Apple that includes design details for a computing device with a display that features a retractable magnetic mechanism to detach itself from a MacBook’s main body.

According to Patently Apple, the details include information that the removable display may be able to rotate and pivot from an open position to a closed position. When disconnected from the base, the display may be positioned in any manner the user chooses for viewing.

The patent states that the computer device can be “both a single operably connected device and two separate communicating devices.”

To be sure, Apple is not simply submitting an application for a laptop with a removable display. The patent includes information that the display can be a touch screen or allow for an input mechanism, such as a capacitive touch sensor, to allow the screen to function as an input device for the base.

Honestly, I think this is a great idea. I’ve been using an iPad for more than three years now and am very familiar with touch screen computing. I recently purchased a MacBook Pro and constantly find myself trying to touch the screen for certain things. It only seems natural to me to integrate a laptop with a tablet. I look forward to this “toaster/fridge.”

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • AppMyWorld

    Ummm….isn’t this the same as the Microsoft Surface?

    • David Terry

      Shhh….no, this is different because it has an picture of an apple on it and will cost three times as much. They’ll probably sue Microsoft after it comes out for copying them.

      • cybik

        And ASUS too.

  • Brad

    Oh look Apple is patenting an Asus Transformer Prime.

    • Jorge Garcia

      An even closer example is the HP Envy X2.