20-inch folding screen could change macbooks forever

A touchscreen MacBook might be in development. And it'll have a 20-inch folding display. Photo: Antonio De Rosa/ADR Studio

Apple could be working on a MacBook far larger than the current 16-inch model – a 20.25-inch one is supposedly in development. But don’t picture a standard laptop, as this will supposedly use a folding display.

Such a large screen would make the macOS notebook a productivity powerhouse.

Apple developing gargantuan 20-inch folding MacBook

The general design of portable computers was laid down by Apple’s PowerBook line in the early 1990s. Changes to the standard notebook design since then have mostly been refinements of those earliest models.

But The Elec says Apple is actively developing a 20-inch MacBook with a folding screen that will be a significant departure from that standard shape.

It’ll take some time for the device to reach consumers though – the target release window is supposedly about five years down the road, in 2027.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this computer. Analyst Ross Young said in early 2022 that a 20-inch MacBook is in the first stages of development. Today’s leak apparently indicates that the project is ongoing.

Not your father’s MacBook

If this unconfirmed report is true, this could be the dream of many: a touchscreen Mac. That will require significant changes to macOS as it’s currently designed to be controlled with a cursor and keyboard.

The 20-inch folding MacBook will almost certainly not include a physical keyboard or trackpad. It’ll be all screen, so will use a virtual keyboard instead, as iPads do. That means it will be about the same size as a current MacBook Pro.

Unfolded, it could be held in the lap while the user writes or draws with a stylus. Or it could be set up on a table with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse as though it were a portable iMac.

Alternatively, the computer could be folded into a MacBook’s clamshell shape for the user to type onto the virtual keyboard. Or the keyboard could be replaced with other controls, perhaps for video editing.

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