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New touchscreen monitor is the MacBook accessory we've been waiting for

Apple has been touting the iPad as a laptop replacement for a while now, and one of the fundamental edges it has over the MacBook is its killer touchscreen display. But one company has developed a new accessory that finally brings touchscreen capabilities to the Mac – and it could be a game-changer.

Australian startup Espresso has created a portable external display called Espresso Display which, at 5mm thick, is being called the world's thinnest monitor. With USB-C, it's compatible with many devices, but its the extra functionality it adds to the MacBook that's potentially most exciting. The MacBook Pro is already our best laptop for graphic design, but with the Espresso Display, could it reach new heights?

Available in 13.3" and 15.6", Espresso Display (opens in new tab) isn't exactly going to do your favourite blockbusters justice. But as a portable second display you can easily take into a cafe (remember those?), it could be perfect for digital artists on the move. And by adding the ability to scrub through footage in Final Cut or manipulate Photoshop files with your finger or a stylus, Espresso Display could even tempt a few iPad converts back to the MacBook. It might be small, but the extra features could make this a contender for our best monitors for MacBook Pro list. 

How well exactly touchscreen capabilities translate to MacOS remains to be seen – the software is of course designed to be used with a mouse or trackpad. That said, YouTuber ben's gadget reviews (opens in new tab) has got hold of an early review copy, and says the experience is, aside from a few fiddly menu bar items, a smooth experience.

Espresso Display

Espresso Display in action (Image credit: Espresso)

Espresso Display has raised over $300,000 on Indiegogo (opens in new tab), and is now entering production. At just $259 for the 13-inch model, it certainly seems like a steal – especially considering Apple currently sells a monitor stand for $999. Speaking of steals though, Apple's Back to School sale has just started, offering a rare chance to grab a deal from the company directly. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).