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The MacBook Touch will never be a thing, but it’s fun to pretend

by Justin Herrick | December 22, 2017December 22, 2017 9:00 am PST

Pretty much every major desktop and laptop powered by Windows includes a touch-enabled display. Apple, however, hasn’t done so with any products in the Mac line. There’s not a single MacBook or iMac that you can control using touch.

That hasn’t stopped Handy Abovergleich, a Switzerland-based publication, from putting together some concept images of what a MacBook Touch would look like.

Apple isn’t completely unfamiliar with touch on a Mac. In 2016, the MacBook Pro was refreshed with the Touch Bar. It’s a glass-covered display integrated into the aluminum body offering quick access to various tools. In addition to settings and apps, the Touch Bar also houses the power button and fingerprint scanner. And it’s what has fueled speculation, which is more like false hope to be honest, that Apple would go all-in and utilize a touch-enabled display.

Since the day will probably never come, you’ll just have to ogle at the concept images.

Starting with the display, Handy Abovergleich shows us an all-screen design. The MacBook Touch doesn’t have anything but a thin metal frame surrounding the 17-inch display. A touch-enabled display is also utilized on the bottom in place of a physical keyboard. This virtual keyboard adapts, much like the Touch Bar, to whatever you’re doing. It also supports the Apple Pencil.

Aside from the display on the bottom, an edge-to-edge trackpad is included. But it’s totally unclear why anyone would need a trackpad that big.

High-level executives have all rejected the idea that touch would work well on macOS. Steve Jobs explained that touch-enabled displays can’t be vertical for long-term use, and both Jony Ive and Paul Schiller said the company developed prototypes but walked away unimpressed. Apple trusted its instincts and continues to believe limiting touch to iOS and watchOS is the right decision.

It’s fun to pretend, right? If you really want a desktop or laptop with a touch-enabled display, you’ll have to look to Microsoft and Windows. Or you could just pick up an iPad. Apple’s tablets have done a pretty good job picking up work often done on computers.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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