6 Reasons Why You Don’t Want a Touchscreen Mac

Many have wondered why Apple has not joined the touchscreen laptop bandwagon. While it seems logical, there are some excellent reasons why it might not be the best idea. Here are six reasons why a touchscreen isn’t the MacBook you might think it is.


Touchscreens on (Traditional) Laptops Are a Pain to Use

Anyone who has used a touchscreen laptop can attest that it’s often more of a hassle than a convenience. Touchscreens are less precise than a mouse or trackpad, and reaching up to tap your screen can be uncomfortable after a while.

Plus, when you’re typing away on a physical keyboard, the last thing you want to do is stop and lift your hand to touch the screen. Ergonomics-wise, a touchscreen on a traditional laptop doesn’t make sense. That is, unless we’re talking about a convertible 2-in-1 PC that switches between laptop and tablet modes.

It Would Ruin the MacBook Form Factor

MacBooks are known for their sleek, lightweight design. Adding a touchscreen to a MacBook would require a thicker, heavier device, as touchscreens need additional layers and hardware. The MacBook’s thin profile is one of its major selling points, and a touchscreen would compromise this iconic form factor and the fantastic bottom-heavy design of current Macs.

Smudgy Mac Screens Are Already a Problem

Let’s face it – even without a touchscreen, Mac screens can become smudgy and dirty from day-to-day use. Adding a touchscreen to a Mac would only exacerbate this issue, leaving you with a perpetually grimy display that requires frequent cleaning. Do you really want to spend more time wiping down your screen instead of getting work done?

MacOS Isn’t Touch Friendly

MacOS, the operating system all Macs run with, is optimized for use with a mouse or trackpad and not for touch input. While Apple could potentially redesign the operating system to accommodate touchscreens, this would require significant effort and resources.

Furthermore, this change would likely affect the user experience, as it would have to be simplified for touch input, potentially at the expense of the macOS functionality you know and love. We’ve seen Windows try to accommodate both touch and mouse input with the likes of Windows 8, resulting in the somewhat split-personality Windows has today. It works, but it’s hard to argue that it’s pretty.

That said, iPadOS has been inching closer to macOS in some ways, and features from the iPad such as Stage Manager and the Control Center are now in macOS. Still, the idea of having to use touch input on a 13″ Retina display seems like it would be too fiddly as things stand.

Everyone Pays for a Niche Feature

Touchscreen laptops are not universally loved. Many people have no interest in using a touchscreen on their laptop and would rather stick to their mouse or trackpad. If Apple were to add a touchscreen to MacBooks, the cost of this feature would be passed on to all consumers, whether they want it or not. This would inevitably raise the price of MacBooks, making them even more expensive than they already are.

The iPad Exists

Finally, it’s worth remembering that Apple already has a touchscreen device: the iPad. The iPad is designed specifically for touch input and has an extensive app ecosystem tailored to this experience. If you’re want a touchscreen device, the iPad is a far better choice than trying to shoehorn touch functionality into a MacBook.

Related: How to Use a Smartphone or Tablet as Your Only Computer in 2023

Even better, the iPad is now a proper independent computer that you could use in place of a Mac, as long as all of the apps you use have iPadOS versions.

A Touchscreen Mac Could Still Be a Good Idea

Despite the arguments against a touchscreen Mac, there are some compelling reasons why it might be a good idea. Let’s quickly explore a few of them:

  • Enhanced Accessibility Options: Touch input can offer improved accessibility for users with physical disabilities or limited mobility.
  • Creative Applications: Touchscreens can provide an immersive experience for artists and designers, enabling direct on-screen drawing and manipulation.
  • Hybrid Device Potential: A touchscreen Mac could merge the best aspects of macOS and iOS, creating a versatile hybrid device for productivity and entertainment.
  • Mobile Apps on macOS: You can now use many iPhone and iPad apps on macOS, and using the touchpad or a mouse with many of these apps isn’t always great. Including touch input in a Mac could make these apps better to use without special effort from developers.

While there are both pros and cons to a touchscreen Mac, it remains to be seen whether Apple will eventually introduce such a device. For now, they seem focused on refining their existing products and leveraging the strengths of their separate macOS and mobile devices.

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