Apple filing proposes iMac-like notebook docking station

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A quick-and-dirty patent filing on the behalf of Apple Inc. proposes a new notebook docking station modeled after its all-in-one iMac desktop computer, where a notebook computer would be inserted into the side of the iMac-like chassis, essentially morphing it into a streamlined desktop system while docked.



Traditionally, notebook docking stations require a separate external monitor to be connected to the docking station when a display other than the integrated display of the notebook computer is desired to be used with the docking station. However, this concept requires a significant amount of desk space for placement of the docking station and separate display, Apple wrote in the filing, adding that attempts by third parties have been made address the issue by allowing the external display to be stacked on top of the docking station.



"However, the stacked combination still occupies a large amount of space and is cumbersome to move and transport," the company said. "Therefore there exists a need for a docking station and display combination that is configured in a more efficient form."



Apple's solution essentially calls for a hollow iMac chassis which retains its display and I/O connectors. The housing would include an internal docking area configured to receive a notebook and an LCD screen configured to display images rendered by that notebook when inserted into the docking cavity.



In some instances, the Mac maker said the docking cavity would completely consume the notebook, leaving the portable computer visible only through the recess on the right side of the iMac docking station. In other instances, however, a portion of a larger-sized notebook may protrude beyond the the opening of the docking cavity.







The filing, which is credit to Apple engineer Augustin Farrugia, was originally made on July 3, 2006 and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the first time on Thursday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    I was wondering when this was going to pop up on the site
  • Reply 2 of 90
    Didn't apple do this before with the PowerBook Duo and the Duo Dock? See here It seemed a fairly good idea the first time and this would be a great way to adapt the "ultra portable" to a home computer when you wanted to dock it or use a larger monitor.
  • Reply 3 of 90
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Kinda weird. And it makes the internal screen of the laptop useless when docked. I was hoping for something more like this:





    but for a laptop. And to dock it, you would dock it while it was open to utilize the built-in screen alone, or with a screen+external screen combo.
  • Reply 4 of 90
    I think it would be more interesting in reverse, by having a wireless screen linked to your home computer.
  • Reply 5 of 90
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,138member
    Yes, it is like the Duo Dock, but now with less ugly.
  • Reply 6 of 90
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    The Mac Tablet (or iTablet) was coming. It is now here.
  • Reply 7 of 90
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    I love those iMac drawings.
  • Reply 8 of 90
    suhailsuhail Posts: 192member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stewisawesome View Post


    Didn't apple do this before with the PowerBook Duo and the Duo Dock? See here It seemed a fairly good idea the first time and this would be a great way to adapt the "ultra portable" to a home computer when you wanted to dock it or use a larger monitor.



    The older dock had many more features than this one:

    1- You could add the cheaper standard memory in the dock. Allowing you to use both memories simultaneously.

    2- You could add a "math co-processor" that would make the device much faster when docked. They are be able to add a place for a secondary processor that would allow the computer to function as a dual when docked.

    3- Two PCI slots for video cards and/or network cards. You could have dual monitors when docked.



    The original dock seems much more useful than this imac dock.
  • Reply 9 of 90
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    I'm not sure I'm thrilled with this dock at all. To me, a dock is meant to provide an easy way to quickly connect your portable to a set of peripherals and perhaps offer some extras like an additional drive bay. I'd also like the option of adding an extra LCD or not based on my own needs. This dock looks like it'd be really expensive and I'm not sure if the dock could be used as a regular display without a the portable docked in it (that would at least ease some of my reservations about it).
  • Reply 10 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Kinda weird. And it makes the internal screen of the laptop useless when docked.



    Usually when users want to dock a laptop, it is because they have a larger screen on their desk than the laptop.



    And a "sub notebook" would have a SMALLER screen than your typical laptop.



    This design makes perfect sense.
  • Reply 11 of 90
    I have been wanting a Duo like system for some time. I used to own a PowerBook Duo 280C and really liked it. What I have wanted though is something along the duo line where there was a box that you slide your ultra portable into so it becomes a desktop system but with a little more oomph. So, for example, take the current Mac Pro case, have a vertical slit in it that the ultra portable can slide into right in the front, and it becomes a desktop system working with my two 30" Apple Cinema Displays I have at home. What I also want is this Pro Case dock to also have its own processors so in itself, it is a home system separate from the ultra portable, but when I plug the ultra portable in, the system now works off of both CPUs for a super fast system with multiple CPUs. Separate they can be used on their own also.



    I am not sure I like the iMac looking screen dock. I would prefer monitors be separate so I can have two big ones and the dock be a tower like or small cube like box that the portable slides into.



    tj
  • Reply 12 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by suhail View Post


    The older dock had many more features than this one:

    1- You could add the cheaper standard memory in the dock. Allowing you to use both memories simultaneously.

    2- You could add a "math co-processor" that would make the device much faster when docked. They are be able to add a place for a secondary processor that would allow the computer to function as a dual when docked.

    3- Two PCI slots for video cards and/or network cards. You could have dual monitors when docked.



    The original dock seems much more useful than this imac dock.



    1- Today's MacBooks and iMacs use the same type of memory.

    2- Today's MacBooks and iMacs use the same type of processor (with the exception of the Extreme option on the 24" iMac

    3- Today's MacBooks and iMacs support dual displays and have built-in Ethernet and AirPort



    So most of those DuoDock features are obsolete or not present in anything less than the Mac Pro today anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 90
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Definitely, Kasper's Automated Slave is out for some hunting today.
  • Reply 14 of 90
    boogabooga Posts: 1,078member
    Attached to my work Dell's dock are a full-size keyboard, multi-button mouse, gig network, 2 monitors, headphones, and iPod USB cable. So for me a dock is all about quickly taking the laptop and going somewhere, but still having all the "comforts" of a desktop while at a desk.



    I think a Mac (with it's great support for configuration changing) would make a much better dockable machine than a Windows box, but this dock seems overbearing to me. I already *have* monitors I like, why buy more?



    Still, having a dock might get me to actually buy a MacBook. (Actually, not until it's up to date in Java, since that's my day job, but a lot closer.)
  • Reply 15 of 90
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Perhaps the iMac will become this? A desktop, a laptop and a tablet all in one
  • Reply 16 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Perhaps the iMac will become this? A desktop, a laptop and a tablet all in one



    A desktop... a laptop... a tablet... but wait!... these are all one thing! (crowd goes nuts)
  • Reply 17 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Buck View Post


    I love those iMac drawings.



    I wonder where those came from, because they don't follow the conventions required by the patent office. They would be rejected.
  • Reply 18 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    A desktop... a laptop... a tablet... but wait!... these are all one thing! (crowd goes nuts)



    It slices, it dices, it juilienes.
  • Reply 19 of 90
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I think all these recent patent filings are there to throw off the rumor mill before MWSF. The OLED keyboard one has obviously already been done.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    ...but would this be better than getting a 23" cinema display and keyboard for my macbook pro?
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