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MacBook tablet hybrid tipped by new Apple patent

A patent awarded to Apple on Wednesday points to one possible solution the company might use once it finally equips the first MacBook computer with tablet-like functionality. The unique design described in the new patent uses a clutch barrel pivoting component that serves two purposes, Patently Apple reports. First, it houses two embedded antennas that provide integrated cellular connectivity. More interestingly, however, its design allows the laptop’s display to be rotated and folded down on top of the keyboard to provide a touchscreen-only tablet configuration. Read on for more.

Apple introduced a number of iOS-like features in Lion, latest version of its OS X operating system, and they have been met with mixed responses. Many view these changes as the early stages of a transition, however, and it may eventually lead to an interface suitable for both keyboard and touch input. Apple’s new patent shows us one way the company might build a MacBook tablet hybrid, though there is currently no indication that the design detailed within this patent is currently in development beyond the theoretical stages. One more drawing from Apple’s new patent filing follows below, and additional details can be found in Patently Apple’s report.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.