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A ‘MacBook Pro Touch’ with support for Apple Pencil rumors

Key Takeaways

  • Apple could revolutionize touchscreens on laptops by reimagining the interface.
  • Reports suggest Apple might introduce a new MacBook Pro with touchscreen capabilities, pairing it with the Apple Pencil.
  • The possibility of a MacBook Touch Pro with a larger touch bar that works with the Apple Pencil could be a game changer.



One of the things that has made Apple one of the world’s biggest and best tech companies is that even when they are beaten to new technology, the people in charge know that’s not the end of the race. When Apple is beaten to the punch, they can still take a technology and make it that much better and more innovative. They might be about to do it again regarding touchscreen or 2-in-1 computers.

While touchscreen laptops have been around for a while, they haven’t gained widespread popularity. However, if there’s a company that can change that, it’s Apple.

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Laptops and even desktop computers with a touchscreen interface are nothing new. They’ve been around for more than a decade now. And while there is certainly a market out there for them, they’ve never been the most popular tool, largely because there just doesn’t seem to be a huge need for a touchscreen when there’ already a mouse and keyboard at hand.


While touchscreen laptops have been around for a while, they haven’t gained widespread popularity. However, if there’s a company that can change that, it’s Apple. Their ability to redefine the use of technology could potentially create a surge in demand for touchscreen laptops.


Years of touchscreen Mac rumors

What can we tell from patent filings, history and context?

An Apple iPad and Pencil.

There have been reports of Apple working on touchscreen Macs for a couple of years now. There are some indications that the company is getting closer to figuring out just what it wants to do and how it wants to implement touch integration. It should shock no one that the way the company is thinking about rolling the tech out will be different from what we have on the market currently. It should also surprise no one that Apple might be bringing back a long-killed-off feature with a twist.


William Gallagher of Apple Insider came across a recently filed patent that, should it come to pass, would mean that the company is getting ready to take advantage of all that the Apple Pencil and new Apple Pencil Pro have to offer alongside a Macbook.

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Are we about to see the birth of the MacBook Touch?

“[Some] computing devices, such as laptop computers, can have a touch screen positioned in or adjacent to a keyboard of the device that can be configured to provide many more functions than a set of traditional keys,” the patent reads. In starting off its filing that way, Apple makes it clear exactly why it thinks people need another touch-enabled laptop on the market.

The filing also makes it clear why there are some people who might stay away from touch-enabled computers.

“However, an ancillary touch screen can be difficult to use in some cases,” it continued. “Touch typists may dislike using the touch screen because it lacks tactile feedback as compared to a set of mechanical, moving keys.”


MacBook Pro Touch could offer a better approach to touchscreens

Touch bar making a comeback?

macbook touch pro on green backbround

Apple

It’s here that Apple could really come to market with something different from what laptop users are familiar with. And the company could even end up bringing back a feature that died an unpopular death in a way that would make it almost essential.

The touchbar was already one of those innovations Apple gave a try that never took off at all. Introduced in 2016, it was effectively killed off in 2021. However, perhaps those who decided to end it missed its head or its heart (whichever horror lore you wish to go with) and it wasn’t totally killed off after all.

It’s here that Apple could really come to market with something different from what laptop users are familiar with.


The filing suggests that a new MacBook Pro could bring back the touch bar and pair it with the Apple Pencil or the Apple Pencil Pro and make it that much easier to use some tools people aren’t going to find on a PC laptop.

Apple has worked hard over the last few years to make its handwriting recognition tech on the iPad Pro top of the line. If the inclusion of the touchbar and the Apple Pencil means that users will be able to write out their thoughts by hand rather than having to type them out, a market for a MacBook Pro Touch could certainly emerge quickly.

The design of the touch bar would need to be tweaked if the Cupertino company really wanted to see people get as excited as possible. The biggest problem with the device during its run on the market was that it was simply too small and also too invasive, reducing the size of the keyboard to a degree that eventually caused it to be killed off … for now.


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The market for a hybrid laptop and iPad Pro

A bigger keyboard with touch interface alone could be a big seller

apple-magic-keyboard-for-ipad-pro-11-inch-m4

Apple

The argument for a Macbook Touch Pro, — picture the 16-inch version with the ability to write, draw or edit designs using a touchscreen or a touch bar — is there. It might be a bit of a niche market, but not having to purchase the magic keyboard separately and keeping track of equipment while also having a full-size or nearly full-size keyboard has a ton of allure.

Of course, as of now, such a device is just a dream. It’s just a hint at something Apple is considering implementing. Here’s hoping that dream eventually comes true.

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