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Input Devices GUI Microsoft Patents Apple

Microsoft Surface, Meet Apple iSurface 201

theodp writes "Responding to Microsoft's Windows 8 efforts, Apple CEO Tim Cook insisted in late April that combining a tablet and a notebook would be like converging a toaster and a refrigerator. But a patent application submitted by Apple last year — and made public Tuesday morning — proposes marrying a tablet and a keyboard to create 'a true laptop alternative,' which GeekWire notes looks a lot like Microsoft Surface (comparison pic). In its patent filing, Apple describes various ways that a tablet's cover could be used as an I-O device — as a tactile-feedback keyboard ('word processing and email become much more efficient'), to display additional output, as a touchpad replacement, and even to receive stylus input. 'The experience,' claims Apple, 'is even better in some ways than the laptop experience.'"
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Microsoft Surface, Meet Apple iSurface

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  • by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:36AM (#40877019)

    Nothing new here. Move along.

    • by FSWKU ( 551325 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:42AM (#40877045)

      Nothing new here. Move along.

      But...but...it's an APPLE screen with a keyboard! That mean's it's magical, revolutionary, innovative, wonderful, stunning, and powerful! Why do you hate magic?

    • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:50AM (#40877073) Journal

      Nothing gnu here. Move along.


      • by rvw ( 755107 )

        Nothing gnu here. Move along.


        Nothing not UNIX - absolutely right! ;-)

    • by EEPROMS ( 889169 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @09:20AM (#40877195)
      Dam Asus an their time machine, they must have gone into the future 3 years and used that knowledge to steal the design from Apple for the Asus Transformer.
      • I've got a Transformer Prime and it really does the tablet + keyboard well. The dock actually adds things besideds a keyboard and trackpad - like extra battery, USB port, and SD card reader. And the latest version, the Infinity, has a 1080p screen, too. Can't see what Surface would add to that.
        • Surface design is radically different from Transformer, though - it doesn't have a strong hinge, the keyboard just flops around. It's why it works as a cover, on one hand (you just fold it back), and why it requires a table to operate, and you need to support the tablet with that stand that folds out from the back. It means that you can't really use the device as you can a laptop, i.e. on the laps.

          If you think that Transformer does it right (I do, too), then what you should be looking at are future Asus off

    • EEEPC reincarnation

    • You're missing the point: If this patent is approved, Microsoft will have to license it to sell the iSurface!
  • Copy Sony again? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by F'Nok ( 226987 ) * on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:40AM (#40877033)

    Is this another case of Apple copying what Sony is doing, but publicising it better?

    http://www.xperiablog.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Xperia-Tablet_13.jpg [xperiablog.net]

  • toaster?? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mnemotronic ( 586021 ) <mnemotronic@@@gmail...com> on Saturday August 04, 2012 @08:50AM (#40877071) Homepage Journal
    Somebody please converge my microwave with my refrigerator/freezer. Put a keyboard on it and a handy "sue everyone" button and its an iAppliance (c).
  • wait a minute... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cyko_01 ( 1092499 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @09:08AM (#40877149) Homepage
    so basically they took a laptop and switched the positions of the LCD and keyboard? It's a fucking touchscreen laptop! they just moved the heavy stuff to to top!
  • [...]would be like converging a toaster and a refrigerator

    It seems that most household appliances exist to alter the temperature of something. It would be great if the heat from a cooling appliance could do something useful. It obviously wouldn't work to toast bread directly with the cooling ribs, but there may be room for some convergence between appliances, to increase efficiency

  • So basically what we have here is a company saying... "This is a horrible idea that can never be profitable, but just as insurance we're going to patent it, so that in case someone makes anything like it we can tie them up in courts until we can launch a competitor to take over the market they so kindly created for us."

    Yeah, patents are great y'all, no way anyone would ever use them for evil.

  • Start with laptop. Remove the keyboard=Invention! Replace the keyboard=Another Bigger Invention!! Interchange the keyboard and display=Magical Invention!!! Magic Invention with added rounded corners=iSurface!!!!

    da Vinci would be proud.

  • by brillow ( 917507 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @10:37AM (#40877501)

    Apple has never said anything which remotely reflects anything it might do. So why do people even bother?

  • Apple is going to die a slow death. Steve was a visionary who set the standards that others have failed to match till now. He prized innovation and was a trailblazer, to hell with wallstreet and others. Now, Apple is being led by the B-class bureacrats that he hated SO far. These morons don't have fuckin clue. They are just paper pushers with an IQ of less than 70. These guys hate innovation as it disturbs their sedate lifestyle. Am sure we would see an exodus of engineers from Apple. That's when i wil
    • If he was so clever why did he hire morons? Actually he was neither the half-god you make him out to be, nor are the people working for the company now, morons.

      They have a lot of good designers and engineers, and a clear focus on user interface and system building. They make nice polished products. They also pursue the same litigious strategy Jobs introduced, and they continue the walled-garden approach which he pushed.

  • So can I get a patent on divorcing/separating a laptop screen and a keyboard into a fantastic happy little accident which gives the user true dual purpose experience? Maybe I'll call it the Asus Transformer?

  • Finally! Apple invented a true physical keyboard to attach to iPads... Now watch the rest of the world try and catch up by coming up with their own, lame, copycat keyboards so they can cash in. Once again, Apple invents something totally new and the world marvels.
    • by equex ( 747231 )
      What 'connect a true physical keyboard' to a computer is an innovation? You people do realize that small computers like iPad and Galaxy are just small computers ?
      Let me break this down.

      1. We have for some reason, powerful but small computers in our pockets.
      2. They don't have keyboards and you need to use their overlay keyboard graphics stuff.
      3. These computers has USB ports.
      4. Keyboards has existed since the computer was invented.
      5. I've had USB keyboards for 10 years or so.
      4. ???? (insert immensil
  • I see no reason why, when connected to a keyboard and mouse, my tablet shouldn't behave like a regular PC. Actually, I want that. My guess is Apple doesn't want to compromise on the UI at all, and doesn't want a $500 alternative to the $1000 MacBook Air.

    There are UI issues. Motorola actually had both Android (touch) and regular Linux (docked) for his Atrix. I do think there are ways to tack rworkable "docked" features to a touch OS: we only need keyboard shortcuts, mouse integration (including replacing tou

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook insisted in late April that combining a tablet and a notebook would be like converging a toaster and a refrigerator.

    And how about you go type that statement you just gave out on an ipad's touch keyboard, Tim Cook. You might change your mind halfway through.

  • The Acer Iconia has already done this so I think we can get this patent killed before it's even issued.

  • Ten years ago Apple applied for a patent for a color-changing device case [macobserver.com] and the entire Internet was almost swept away in the ensuing geekgasm. However, in the decade since, we have never seen it in production. There have been many other "Apple has a patent on..." stories since then for plenty of products that have not been made.

    See also the Apple Product Cycle [misterbg.org] which has been very accurate in the decade since it was first published.

  • it's not actually a keyboard, it's a big touchpad, using it as a keyboard is just one of the functions, and that's the difference between Surface and the prior art. Apple is covering it's ass to stop the cloners from doing the same. The concept is nice, but I still like a real keyboard.

  • The Compaq TC1000 and TC1100 were PCs running Windows XP Tablet Edition. They were just over a cm thick and had a nice tilt and swivel detachable keyboard. For the time, it was utterly astonishing and only really let down by its slow CPU and half-hearted support from Compaq/HP. Indeed I only switched back to laptops when HP discontinued the range. As far as form factors go though, it pretty much nailed how a hybrid tablet/laptop should function... ten years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_TC1000 [wikipedia.org]

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