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Apple patented a keyboard with a built-in computer that plugs into any display

As someone who grew up with an Apple IIc, I love this.

Apple store selling iphone in new york
Image: Unsplash

Apple might be reimagining what a Mac looks like; if this newly published patent is anything to go by. In it, Apple patented a keyboard with a Mac inside it, making it a self-contained device.

First noticed by Patently Apple, the Mac looks like an Apple Magic Keyboard. Apple stuffed a whole computer into a keyboard. Isn’t that cool?

I mean, most computers are bulky, blocky affairs. Even Apple’s own Mac mini isn’t the smallest of things, and you still need to connect a keyboard and mouse to it for use.

Apple’s new patent even mentions putting a trackpad onto the keyboard, so you wouldn’t need any external accessories.

Drawing showing a keyboard that apple patented with a mac computer inside
Image: USPTO

All you’d need is an external display, and almost anywhere you go has a TV with an HDMI input to serve that need.

The other thing? This device probably wasn’t possible before Apple silicon, like the M1 chip. That small form factor to fit inside a keyboard needs a low-power processor to keep thermals in check.

I’m all for this newly patented keyboard from Apple. Yes, I know it’s just an idea at this stage, and might not make it to market. It’s not the first time Apple has made a computer inside a keyboard though.

The Apple IIc that I learned to use a computer on was technically the same form factor; except it was the size of a suitcase and weighed a ton (relative terms, remember I was eight at the time). I’d love to revisit my computing roots with a smaller, computer-in-keyboard Mac.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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