The excellent Cult of Mac is theorising about what the rumoured ‘Brick’ from Apple could be. I’d love this to be true, but I really don’t think this is what we’ll see announced next month (please let me be wrong!)
Apple’s “Brick” would be a hybrid laptop/tablet/ebook that dispenses with a physical keyboard and trackpad in favor of a virtual, adaptive UI that blends multitouch, gestures and its own orientation to switch between different modes:
Laptop — When the Brick is held horizontally with the two screens at an angle, the bottom screen turns into a virtual keyboard and touchpad. There’s no tactile feedback for touch typists, but never mind, corrective text handily makes up for the myriad errors. The top screen acts like a regular laptop screen, except that it also is touch sensitive, and is responsive to multitouch gestures like double-tap to zoom, pinching and scrolling.
Tablet — When the two halves are opened fully they snap together in the middle to make a tablet with a continuous touch-sensitive screen. This mode is best for surfing the web, browsing and editing photos, and displaying mind-altering music visualizers.
eBook — Like laptop mode but held vertically. Each screen transforms into an electronic page for easy reading. Displays eBooks, eMags or specially laid out websites. Readers navigate by swiping the screen to turn the pages.
Tabletop — Like tablet mode but for two people. When an onscreen button is pushed, the screens are oriented for two users sitting opposite each other. Great for collaborative tasks and especially games.
The accompanying pics are from an OLPC mock-up previously published, but it makes you think – Apple could definitely do this now. The question is: will they?
I’d just love an Apple netbook – small form factor, ultra portable, rugged and the full Mac OS X. To be able to sync all my MobilMe content, access the web, use Skype and blog etc. Yes – I’d definitely get in line for one of those.