Should Apple Make A Touchscreen MacBook Air?

Macworld UK’s Mark Hattersley thinks it’s past time Apple made a touchscreen MacBook Air, suggesting that as soon as Apple introduced the iPhone and its multi-touch gestures, it was almost taken as a given that this technology would make its way over to the Mac.

So where is the Mac with a touchscreen display hiding? he asks, noting that in some ways the MacBook (and other Macs) already have multi-touch in the form of the large glass trackpad which allowed many gestures from iOS to cross over to the world of Mac OS X.

However, he says that while the trackpad is cool, swiping on the glass pad doesn’t truly have the same effect as interacting directly with the screen, and now that the iPad is firmly entrenched in our minds: isn’t it time for the technology to become a little less exclusive? HE observes that the real question is would we benefit from a touchscreen Mac? What does touchscreen bring to the table that trackpads and mice do not?

Hattersley conceded that touch on a screen (or trackpad) less precise than a mouse, which is youe editor’s main beef with touch input. I cherish the pinpoint precision and accuracy of a (preferably hard-wired) mouse inout connection to the UI.

Steve Jobs famously disdained touchscreens for laptops, noting correctly that after a short period of time fatigue begins setting in and after longer sessions, your arm wants to fall off, noting that it doesn’t work, and it’s ergonomically terrible.

However, Hattersley maintains that one reason why Apple should reconsider the idea of a touchscreen Mac laptop is that many people now reach for the screens on a MacBook Air instinctively.

Mea culpa, but I stop myself. While a touchscreen on a MacBook wouldn’t be a hardship so long as real trackpad and mouse input remains supported, I wouldn’t be prepared to compromise other functionality, and how much would touch add to up front cost?

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