German magazine Curved.de and Dutch 3D artist Martin Hajek created plausible concept renderings of a future Magic Keyboard with a contextually aware OLED strip replacing the physical row of function keys, but that was months before Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
Now that the new notebook has been formally announced, Reddit user “Hazza42” felt inspired to create his own mockups of what a standalone extended aluminum Apple keyboard with an integrated Touch Bar might look like.
“I was inspired by the Touch Bar on the new MacBooks so I tried my hand at designing an updated Magic Keyboard,” the poster wrote. “Anyone else hoping something like this will be an optional extra when the new iMacs/Mac Pros are announced?”
The concept envisions the same Touch Bar replacing the row of function keys with a contextual multi-touch OLED display strip like on the new Pro notebook. Unlike prior concepts, this one calls for a full-size keyboard complete with a number keypad to make the Touch Bar significantly longer than it is on the new MacBook Pro.
BTW, am I the only wondering why on Earth Apple sells the compact wireless keyboard but refuses to update its wired full-size keyboard with wireless functionality?
If Apple has something like this concept cooking in its labs, we might indeed see a Touch Bar-enhanced standalone keyboard released after the company updates its all-in-one iMac desktop and the Mac Pro.
Of course, such a keyboard would have to integrate the Apple-designed P1 chip that handles the Touch Bar, Touch ID and camera on the new MacBook Pro without compromising your security and privacy.
At any rate, the price of a Touch Bar-enhanced full-size keyboard would be a major factor in making an informed purchasing decision. I mean, as much as I think that Apple’s Magic accessories are cool, I just cannot bring myself to paying $99 for a Magic Keyboard, $79 for a Magic Mouse 2 and $129 for a Magic Trackpad 2.
But an extended Apple aluminum keyboard with an OLED touch bar providing the same Touch Bar functionality as found on the latest MacBook Pro might make a believer.
And if it came with low-energy Bluetooth, backlighting, an integrated lithium-ion battery, low-profile keys like on the new MacBook Pro and a Jet Black variant with white or gray keys, I think I’d pay north of $100 for it.
How about you?
Source: Reddit user “Hazza42”