MacPad Pro stars in spectacular concept video

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MacPad Pro concept video
MacPad Pro can be used as a MacBook or an iPad. Too bad it's just a dream.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

A digital artist created a device that combines the best features of a MacBook and iPad Pro. The 2-in-1 can be used as giant tablet, folded into a clamshell laptop, or even configured into a smaller tablet or desktop.

The first phones with flexible screens are expected to be released this fall, and this device shows what might be possible when foldable displays go mainstream.

The video is the product of Kevin Noki at ConceptsiPhone. It’s the result of “6 months of designing, animating, editing & rendering,” according to Noki.

MacPad Pro in action

The video starts with the “MacPad Pro” folded up, then opening like a butterfly to lie flat, creating a large, landscape-oriented work surface. macOS appears, showing that this a touchscreen MacBook, not an iOS device.

Photoshop launches, and an invisible user creates some artwork with an Apple Pencil. This accessory can’t be used with current MacBooks.

Next, the screen folds in half backward, leaving only half the display exposed. The user continues to work in Photoshop. (There’s some question about whether real flexible displays will be able to rotate over a full 180 degrees like this.)

Then the screen folds the other way, into a clamshell configuration. A virtual keyboard appears on one half, while the remainder functions as the display. 

The artist also imagines a desktop configuration for the MacPad Pro. A stand could hold the double-size screen up at an angle right for working. (A keyboard could be used in this arrangement, though the video doesn’t show that.) 

No touchscreen Macs

As Kevin Noki points out, “This is a concept design not a real Apple product.” So don’t expect to see it at WWDC 2018 next week. And Apple has made it clear that it has no interest in combining MacBooks and iPad.

Still, recent very sketchy rumors point to Apple making a touchscreen MacBook running an ARM processor.