I’m a longtime MacBook user who has been looking forward to Apple adopting a design that’s been available for years from Windows PC makers: the 2-in-1 convertible laptop. I’d love my MacBook Pro’s screen to support touch input and to come off from its keyboard dock when I don’t need the latter. It’s unclear whether Apple will ever make the MacBook of my dreams. But the 2024 iPad Pro might be the closest thing to it.
That’s all thanks to a brand new Magic Keyboard dock that will make the iPad look more like a MacBook.
The accessory design detail comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The reporter detailed Apple’s plans for the iPad in his latest Power On newsletter.
Gurman’s previous iPad Pro report said the next-gen tablet will feature an OLED panel, a first for Apple’s tablets. Add the new M3 chip that should be unveiled this fall, and the 2024 iPad Pro should be a great upgrade over its predecessor.
The next-gen Magic Keyboard might be the accessory that makes the iPad Pro an even better computer.
Per Gurman, the new Magic Keyboard will have a larger trackpad to be more Mac-like. That’s a detail that leaked before. But he has further information on the next Magic Keyboard that indicates we’re looking at a major redesign.
“For the first time on a Magic Keyboard, the top case — the area around the keyboard itself — will be aluminum, matching recent Mac laptops,” the reporter writes.
Apple has two objectives with the new iPad Pro keyboard. First, using aluminum will make the keyboard look more like the MacBook. Therefore, it’ll look like a premium product. Secondly, aluminum should increase the durability of the keyboard. Gurman says the current model is prone to bending and tearing at the edges.
The reporter adds that the Magic Keyboard’s exterior shell will retain the current model’s cover material when closed. It’ll also feature one USB-C port, just like the current model.
Finally, the aluminum Magic Keyboard shouldn’t be much heavier than the current model. But the product might always be more expensive, considering the changes.
The OLED upgrade could also increase the price of the new iPad Pro models next year, but that’s just speculation.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Apple wants to make the iPad Pro a much better computer, both when it comes to performance and overall experience. As I said recently, the hardware upgrades might not be enough to turn the iPad Pro into the laptop killer it could be. The software should also see further improvements to make it more macOS-like.
The MacBook of my dreams might have a detachable touchscreen, but I’d still want it to run macOS, especially when it comes to work and productivity apps. iPadOS isn’t quite there, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Apple can give the software a major upgrade come iPadOS 18.
Gurman doesn’t say anything about the upcoming iPad Pro software. And it’s too early for that. Apple is about to launch the iPhone 15. Once that happens, it’ll also release its next-gen software updates, including iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.