Click to viewSome Apple fan mixed the real iMac-like dock patent and the fabled MacBook touch, getting a very nice rendition of how both concepts may look together. There is minimalist dock station too, with an optical drive, extra hard-drive, charging and wireless connectivity but without the screen, which looks like a more realistic proposition. The whole thing is just a figment of a wet fanboy imagination, but could this really happen? And would you buy an Apple tablet, an ultra-Slim MacBook or none of them?
According to the author of this fantasy, "the Keyboard Wireless Dock connects to the dock using Wireless USB. It also has a bigger hard drive, some sort of DVD player/burner, inputs for your USB and Firewire devices. The whole keyboard part itself is used as a large multitouch track pad. Since the keys need to be depressed when hit, you can do lighter touches as you move across the whole thing."
Hokai. It also probably dices potatoes, synthesizes Strawberry Daiquiris and teleports you to other planets full of wonderful civilizations with sculptural Monica-Belucci-style oiled amazons or George-Clooney-style oiled warriors (depending on your preference), that will name you their King or Queen. In other words, it doesn't make much sense.
The black Powerbook-Titanium-style is quite nice, though. The concept may be feasible too: I like the idea of having an on-the-go tablet with touch keyboard for surfing, video, music and photography using a touch-optimized iLife suite. But one thing is some people finding the idea attractive, and the other is people buying it: unfortunately, the market for this kind of device could be quite limited as other keyboard-less Tablet PCs have demonstrated in the past. Even if we assume that Apple's implementation may make a difference, as it did in the case of the key-less iPhone, the market will still be very limited. One thing is a device like the iPhone, for short SMS/mails, and a very different thing is this kind of device.
Furthermore, looking at Apple's recent history, the company is not one that likes to create new markets, but improve on ones that may have true mass-market potential (like the iPod in the music market, or the iPhone in the cellphone market.) That's why a ultra-slim laptop idea, not a tablet, with Flash storage at a cheap price point sounds like a more realistic (and equally as sexy) as this tablet. Down the line, such product may get a touch-screen. At this point, a device like the one pictured here still looks like a risky proposition.
The mini-dock concept, on the other hand, seems like a real possibility for the rumored ultra-slim MacBook. If Apple finally decided to release such a machine without an optical drive, the dock seems like a reasonable combo. At least, a more elegant and more practical solution than their iMac-dock patent (and quite cheaper.) With a real keyboard. Apple did this in the past too with the PowerBook Duo. It was a good machine at the time, but limited. Perhaps like with the case of the Newton and the iPhone, now is the right time to implement all these technologies at the right price.
We will have to wait and see if all these wishes get granted by the Wizard of Cupertino. In the meantime, we can all vote and see what a part of the market, the readers of Gizmodo, really want. [Flickr via MacRumors Forums]