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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. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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