With the switch to Apple Silicon processors, the American company has shown that you can integrate a high-performance chip into almost any type of case. The M1 can now be found on any device, from high-performance laptops such as the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, to desktop computers such as the Mac Mini and iMac, but also to tablets such as the iPad Pro. The next step seems to be the development of a PC that is fully integrated into a keyboard, as were the first Apple computers in the ’70s and’ 80s.
A new Apple patent suggests that the keyboard could become a Mac computer
A new patent registered by Apple in the United States at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) describes exactly this. A fully functional computer that can be integrated into an Apple keyboard. The PC could be equipped with expansion ports, which can be connected to a monitor and powered by a single cable.
In fact, this is not at all SF. Apple laptops can already be connected to external monitors and powered by a single Thunderbolt cable, as the 2016 MacBook Pro generation all have such ports. Then, the M1 processor can already be integrated into very thin devices, such as the iPad Pro, so it would probably take place in a keyboard-shaped body. Moreover, keyboard-shaped computers have existed since the beginning of personal computers.
PCs have grown in size as the need for performance has increased, but now we’re back to smaller, more compact formats that offer enough performance to meet most basic needs and even some demanding tasks.
A final design has not been chosen, and the launch could be far away
It is stated in the Apple patent that such a device could reduce the production costs of other types of computers, being based on a simpler design, which does not require batteries, screens or other expensive components. Also, being in a compact and light shape, the device could be taken everywhere and connected to various screens.
Apple has also created various scenarios in which there could be a version with an integrated trackpad, or a projector in the back, which could replace a screen.
The company is not in a hurry to bring devices that it patents on the market, but we know at least that it is thinking of launching a Mac computer in the form of a keyboard, which we may see in the next few years.