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Why MacBooks don’t come with touch screens

April 13, 2022

Why Macbooks don’t come with touch screens

Introduction

Apple’s MacBook is not only an integral part of the company’s beloved ecosystem but is also the oldest product in Apple’s history. With the launch of the first Macintosh in 1984, it has evolved from being a chunky computer that performed basic tasks to one of the most powerful portable computers on the planet. The MacBook is one of the only Apple Products that does not come with a touchscreen and that has led many people to wonder whether Apple would add a touchscreen to the computer in the future. In this blog, we will explore why Apple didn’t have a touchscreen to begin with.

The biggest reason why the MacBook doesn’t have a touchscreen

Comfort

When a Senior Vice President of Apple was directly asked the question, he gave a pretty direct answer. He said, “We really feel that the ergonomics of using a Mac are that your hands are rested on a surface and that lifting your arm up to poke a screen is a pretty fatiguing thing to do. I don’t think we’ve looked at any of the other guys to date and said, “How fast can we get there”. This makes sense. The entire point of having a touchscreen is to make it comfortable and faster to use and with a MacBook, it doesn’t have a tangible advantage.

The different perspective

Apple took a completely different approach when they wanted touch inputs on the Mac. They introduced the Touch Bar in 2016. The company introduced an OLED display strip that replaced the computer’s function key row. According to Apple, this would allow users to use their laptop computers in ways they’d never imagined before. Every application would display a different interface onto the touch bar, allowing for greater flexibility and capability than function keys. 

However, this didn’t sit well with users. Most applications that weren’t designed by Apple didn’t use the touch bar to its fullest potential, it could not mimic the speed and agility of physical function keys and the absence of a tangible Esc key was irritating to many.

Prospects for the future

Patents for a complete touch-screen laptop

While the touch bar didn’t sit well with the majority of users who bought the MacBook Pro, experts say that Apple has a lot of patents for a completely touch-based laptop with a display instead of physical keys. While only two of these patents have gained traction in the past, Apple’s plans to remove the physical keys altogether could bring about a big revolution in the way computers are designed. Touch screens in Apple products have become omnipresent and comforting that irregular users have come to expect it from every Apple product that has a screen.

 

Conclusion

The fact that Apple’s products have comfortable and smooth touch screens has sunk very deep into the preferences of customers at this point. Most Apple products like iPhones, iPods, and Apple Watches have all had touch screens that revolutionized every single one of those markets. Now that users have been using these devices, it feels weird to most of them to have to use physical keys in the most powerful device out of them all (relatively). Switching from touch-based devices to ones based on keys is hard in itself and lots of customers are waiting for Apple to bring the coveted touchscreen to the MacBook as soon as possible.

 

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