Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Apple have patented a new laptop which merges with your phone and uses it as a trackpad

apple-macbook-2016-nw-g04.jpg

This is such a good idea that we can’t believe no one’s done this before.

It’s emerged that Apple filed a patent in September last year for a notebook ‘chassis’ into which you can insert your iPhone – which becomes a trackpad – or an iPad, which becomes a touchscreen.

That’s right – you’ll basically be able to turn your phone or iPad into a laptop format, enabling you to make use of all that computing power in a different way.

iPad Chassis

Your iPhone slots into the trackpad position, and would be used instead of one

iPad Chassis

The iPad would be used as the screen in the chassis

However, the terms of the patent dictate that the accessory device (ie. the ‘laptop’ chassis) can have “little or no independent processing resources in the form of a CPU or similar comprehensive processor” – so it won’t be able to add computing power to whatever your iPhone or iPad gives it. However it can provide ‘extended functionality’ – that is, “auxiliary processing resources, such a graphical processing unit, or GPU, or other processing resources that can support the functions of the portable computing device”.

Of course, this being Apple, it’s not an entirely new idea, with the ASUS Padfone attempting something similar back in 2014, although to be fair it is distinctively different enough to be granted a patent.

iPad Chassis

And, of course, you could argue that devices that can turn your phone or tablet into a laptop already exist, with bluetooth keyboards and the like. However, this does look rather more elegant a solution for the iPad, and the iPhone version is particularly novel, enabling you to not only type properly, but also utilise the phone as a trackpad for navigation.

Apple files many of these patents, so it remains to be seen if it ever sees the light of day, but it could be an extremely cool accessory in the near future.

Related

rediphonecropped.jpg

Apple have released a red iPhone and that is very important

1.jpg

This new retro-Mac-themed iPhone 7 looks seriously cool

fon.png

This iPhone case is actually just an entire new Android phone

More

Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017