MacBooks with touchscreens? New report hints that they're coming — what we know

MacBook Pro 14-inch M3 holding in air open
(Image credit: Future)

With the release of Apple’s new iPad Pro 2024, we’re moving ever closer to a time when the Cupertino-based company’s premier tablet will be a legitimate laptop replacement. Today isn’t that day, but we’re mere steps closer. 

While computing expert Tony Polanco loved the iPad Pro M4 in his review, it’s still not quite ready to be the portable laptop we’re dreaming about. Part of what holds it back is the operating system itself and the lack of a larger laptop-esque screen. 

But how could Apple’s laptop lineup lean more into the tablet space? Based on a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, adding a touch screen is a potential option for the MacBook Pro lineup.

It’s a blink and you’ll miss it line in Gurman’s round up of thoughts on Apple and various moves the company is making. Yet he does mention that Apple is working on bringing an OLED display and touch-screen support to MacBook laptops. However, his report left the timeline vague, saying that it’s coming in “the next few years.” Though Apple is apparently committed to keeping the iPad and MacBook as separate devices going forward. 

The problem is that iPadOS isn’t built for multi-tasking. It tries with Stage Manager and Split View, but doesn’t quite offer the same usability and features of the MacBook. As our expert Mark Spoonauer said,  “Apple Silicon has become so advanced that I think that Apple simply needs to blow up iPadOS and start over.”

He suggested that perhaps iPadOS runs when the tablet is undocked but switches over to macOS when docked with a Magic Keyboard.

An issue that we keep running into is that apps aren’t really designed for work-based takes on even the latest and greatest iPad. Even using Chrome can be a confusing experience on the Apple's slab. 

As it currently stands, most of our editorial team prefer the MacBook over iPad models as an everyday tool. For us, the laptop still works best as a device for work. That said, gaming and content consumption is way better on the iPad, mostly due to its portability and the power of the new M4 chip.

Perhaps the biggest issue that keeps coming up is price. A top of the line iPad Pro M4 with the Magic Keyboard will run you over $2,200. Meanwhile, you can get a similar specced MacBook Pro or Air for closer to $1,699. 

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.