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Next-gen Apple MacBook Pro could incorporate a base-covering touch input device, a wireless charger, and even fewer ports

MacBook Pro laptops with permanently integrated keyboards could become a thing of the past. (Image source: Apple)
MacBook Pro laptops with permanently integrated keyboards could become a thing of the past. (Image source: Apple)
Apple could eventually release a MacBook Pro laptop with a touch input surface replacing the regular keyboard deck and including a wireless charger for use with iPhones and iPads that support the charging technology. The futuristic next-gen MacBook Pro that was unearthed in a recently published patent also featured touch sensors for the palms.
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Apple could be contemplating doing away with the keyboard, or at least incorporating a removable magnetic keyboard, with a future MacBook Pro. A patent spotted by PatentlyApple seems to be stuffed with intriguing ideas for a next-gen MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Entitled “Device having integrated interface system”, it’s clear to see in the numerous accompanying technical drawings that the keyboard could be replaced with the “integrated interface system”, which could be made from glass, plastic, or ceramic.

This would allow for multi-purpose functionality, as the touch surface could be just a typical keyboard for typing, or it could display different input systems, such as a “button array” or “rotatable dial”. A physical keyboard can be connected magnetically, but even this brings additional novel functions to the next-gen Apple MacBook Pro. Swiping across the keys will register movement on the display without actuating individual keys. It’s basically turning the whole base portion of the laptop into a touch input device or trackpad.

On top of that, the patent shows how a wireless charger could be fitted into the MacBook Pro that would allow the charging of compatible Apple devices and there’s also the presence of a fingerprint sensor and biometric sensors for checking the user’s palms. Peripheral input units, such as joysticks, can also be magnetically attached to this marvelous MacBook Pro and then used to interact with or drive what was happening on the display. Port lovers might not be too enamored with this potential Apple laptop though, as ports seem to be few and far between here.

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Wirelessly charge an iPhone. (Image source: USPTO)
Wirelessly charge an iPhone. (Image source: USPTO)
Use a dial or buttons on the touch surface. (Image source: USPTO)
Use a dial or buttons on the touch surface. (Image source: USPTO)
The keys are touch sensitive. (Image source: USPTO)
The keys are touch sensitive. (Image source: USPTO)
A peripheral input unit can also be attached. (Image source: USPTO)
A peripheral input unit can also be attached. (Image source: USPTO)

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Daniel R Deakin
Daniel R Deakin - Managing Editor News - 2415 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > Next-gen Apple MacBook Pro could incorporate a base-covering touch input device, a wireless charger, and even fewer ports
Daniel R Deakin, 2020-12-24 (Update: 2020-12-24)