Apple’s patent filings are often a fascinating glimpse into the weird and wonderful ideas up the company's sleeve – regardless of whether or not they’ll ever see the light of day. Its latest, a bendable laptop design, could be the most radical change yet to the traditional clamshell we're all used to. Visually, at least.
As big MacBook fans (there are two of them in our best laptops for graphic design list), we're always intrigued to see what the future might hold for the machine. A patent (opens in new tab) awarded yesterday describes "a single piece body having a seamless overall appearance and that includes a bendable portion" – that bendable portion being where you'd usually find a hinge between the laptop's keyboard and display. You can see the design in all its (conceptual) glory below.
We've no doubt a seamless, "single piece" MacBook would look beautiful alongside a flat white in our favourite café (assuming it's reopened by the time a bendable MacBook arrives), but we can't help but wonder what function it might serve beyond looking nice. If it offers extra flexibility, perhaps we'll get a few more viewing angles out of it. Perhaps it'll be more durable than a traditional hinge. To be honest, we wouldn't put it past Apple to implement the feature for purely aesthetic reasons. Not that we'd mind – we're a design site, after all.
Other recent patent filings suggest Apple is putting a fair bit of thought into the foldability of its devices. This February we saw it take a rather mechanical approach to a possible folding iPhone (we don't blame Apple – who can forget the debacle of Samsung's highly breakable Galaxy Fold?) But as with all patents, all this tells us is that Apple is exploring the idea rather than putting it into practice – at the moment.
If and when a bendable MacBook will appear remains to be seen. Until then, we'll just have to do with good old-fashioned hinges for now. Still, with the horsepower packed inside the latest MacBook Pro (released just this week), we wouldn't say anybody's missing out. Check out today's best MacBook deals below.