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Where's my convertible Mac?

Here at TUAW, we just received our 5 billionth review request for a new iPad keyboard system. More and more, makeshift solutions attempting to turn iPads into laptops is a "been there done that" for me.

Is it "too Microsoft" to ask Apple to come out with a proper convertible notebook/tablet, a duo for the new decade? After all, Windows 8 hasn't exactly been redefining the user experience. That's something that Apple usually does.

There are, admittedly, problems with the proposition:

  • You can already "kind of sort of" get work done on iPads -- more than ever, now that software is expanding for the touch-based office, Bluetooth accessories are ubiquitous, and onboard dictation means you don't have to hunch over a desktop to get things done.
  • OS X isn't meant for small screens or touch interfaces. You probably don't want to be running Xcode on an iPad mini.
  • Even though many technologies for iOS and OS X are converging, the underlying basis for sandboxing the file system are still far enough apart that running both OS'es on a single unit would be a smidge difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.
  • The raw power needed to compile efficiently would price a convertible out of the market and it would probably have to weigh as much as a Macbook Pro to get any real work done.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be awesome if a tablet really could do full desktop-level creation work, be able to dock to monitors wirelessly, be able to operate in tablet mode, and provide all the power of Apple's top systems in a tiny package.

By the way, I'd also like sparkles for my rainbow pony unicorn.

None of these technologies are unachievable, although ports, storage and battery life would provide strong design challenges, not to mention balancing weight into the equation. And, of course, the bigger question is would a frankentablet sell?

Are we heading towards a unified device solution? Or is the triumvurate of desktop / laptop / tablet due to continue for the foreseeable future?

You tell us. Vote in this poll and then join in the comments.

Will Apple develop and ship a convertible tablet?
No.809 (61.6%)
Yes. One device to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.147 (11.2%)
Yes, but there will be compromises. Think MBA-type features at best rather than MBP-levels of power. 202 (15.4%)
This is why the good lord gave us Microsoft.139 (10.6%)
Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.17 (1.3%)



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Surveys and Polls Mac iPad

Here at TUAW, we just received our 5 billionth review request for a new iPad keyboard system. More and more, makeshift solutions...