Beautiful concept envisions Apple extended keyboard with Touch Bar

By , Nov 3, 2016

Concept Apple Magic Keyboard Touch Bar image 002

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.

Concept Apple Magic Keyboard Touch Bar image 001

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.

Concept Apple Magic Keyboard Touch Bar image 003

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”

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  • Ángel Javier Esquivel

    I will give a lot for a desktop keyboard with Touch Bar, but, for obvious reasons, it will not include TouchID.

    • Aaron Hysell

      Why wouldn’t it? The Apple Watch has Apple Pay and it connects over bluetooth to a computer, your iPhone! It would still be your fingerprint and yours alone. And to go a step further, you use Touch ID on your iPhone currently to authenticate purchases on your Mac, so whats the difference

      • Ángel Javier Esquivel

        TouchID is paired to the sensor at processor level that securely stores your biometric info. Same with the T1 chip found in the new MacBook Pro

  • whodakat

    You know this isn’t an accurate mockup, because it includes the 10-key and Apple clearly hates those of us that need a 10-key… you know, us pesky professionals. Personally I won’t even touch a keyboard without one so they can put Touch ID and a Touch Bar in it all they want, but if they leave off that 10-key, its worthless.

    • Those 10-keys was what the 17in MBP’s were missing.

    • omakad

      Apple does sell keyboard with number pad. I think it’s like $50.00 so maybe this could be a reality. If they want this to catch on and become new inputting device they need to add it across their lines.

      • whodakat

        I know, I’m typing on it right now. It didn’t get updated in the last peripheral update, and its still wired. As if they can’t make a wireless version. Yeah that 10 key just kills the battery. They clearly don’t think people use it. Kanex makes a wireless version that is clearly better, so I’ll take my business there I guess. But its pretty stupid that the biggest tech company in the world can’t make a wireless keyboard with a 10-key.

      • omakad

        Yeah I hear ya. I used to use it, but I switched to Logitech K750 because it’s wireless and batery-less :).

  • Harrison Smith

    Apple would charge at least 169. No way the Airpods are selling for more than this

    • Alex Wilson

      More then that I think, the magic keyboard is $99 – I’m saying over $200.

  • Aaron Hysell

    Well, we know this won’t happen because Apple doesn’t like to add number keys on keyboards for some odd reason

  • websyndicate

    I just use mechanial keyboards. I cant work without the F keys. Great concept but like others I need a 10 key. 60% keyboard are not worth it.

  • Tim

    If they ever launch this. It’s gonna be $249.

    • Alex Wilson

      Bingo! I completely agree.

  • malhal

    Move the ` key down next to left shift (like UK layout) then put Esc in its place and it’s perfect!

  • Alex Wilson

    North of $100? It’s Apple, it would be over $200 probably $250. Consider the track pad goes for $129 and the scrunched up “magic” keyboard goes for $99. For $100 yes I would buy one, but for $200 I’ll pass. I’ll happily stick with my Solar powered Logitech keyboard.

  • Alf

    great mockup… only thing missing is a dongle to connect it to the existing apple keyboard…. somehow. lately apple has really lost site of what “design” is.

  • I’d pay max $150 for this keyboard.

  • QP

    omg never seen anything uglier than this, what’s those canyons between keys?