As much as I like my iPad Pro, it would be easier to get work done if the 12.9-inch tablet were running Mac OS X instead of iOS because of its more mature multitasking features. I’m dubious such a device will ever escape from their labs, but Apple has been granted a patent (number 9176536) for a hybrid tablet/laptop.
Dubbed “wireless display for electronic devices,” the patent involves a computer and a display that can be removed. Think of it as the reverse iPad Pro. Instead of a tablet with an attachable keyboard, it’s a computer with a detachable screen.
The invention’s base includes a processor, a base wireless chip, and a power source. The display includes a screen for displaying a video output, a display wireless chip in communicating with the base wireless chip, and a power wireless chip in communication with the power source.
The base wireless chip transmits data from the processor to the display. Also, when the display is at least in one position with respect to the base, the power source transmits power to the power transition member of the display. Of course, this “hybrid” device could be running iOS instead of OS X, but the patent definitely talks about laptops and computers, not tablets.
According to the patent, the display can be removed from the computer base and continue to function. It would wirelessly connect to the processor and all the other internal gizmos in the base. The electronic display includes a screen for displaying a video output, a wireless chip configured to transmit data corresponding to the video output over a 60 GHz signal to the base, and a power source in communication with the screen.
The connection portions for the screen would retract into their respective enclosures when the display is decoupled from the base and would extend as the display is repositioned with the base. For example, the support members and/or connection portions may snap fit via a latch or spring biased member into place when the display is docked in the base.
Like I say, I doubt we’ll ever see such a thing as CEO Tim Cook has specifically said in an interview with The Telegraph that he sees the iPad Pro as a personal computer replacement. On the other hand, in the past, Apple has pooh-poohed the ideas of bigger iPads, smaller iPads, styluses, and more, so we’ll see.