5 wild PC hardware ideas that would be even better on the Mac


Macworld columnist Jason Snell recently wrote about how Apple should take more risks with its products–and I wholeheartedly agree, especially when it comes to the Mac. Makers of Windows PCs often implement odd features to stand out in a crowded marketplace–it’s something Apple doesn’t need to do because Apple relies on the Mac’s elegance, reliability, and its role in an ecosystem that works well.

But unique and daring features could breathe new life into the Mac and help it grow. So, taking cues from what’s in current PC laptops and what was shown at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, here are five features I’d like to see Apple interpret and use in its Mac products. Some of these are wild, way out there, and wouldn’t sell in huge numbers–kind of like the Apple Vision Pro. But they could lead to future innovations and products that would be indispensable.

Facial recognition

Okay, we’re not getting too wild just yet. Face ID is a feature that we’ve been pining over this for some time now. Yes, Touch ID works well on the Mac, but Face ID is stronger and more convenient. PCs have , which lets you use facial recognition, a fingerprint, or a passcode to sign in. Since it already makes the best mobile facial recognition biometric on the planet and the Mac already has a notch, why can’t Apple put Face ID’s True Depth sensor on the Mac? And, as I’ve suggested before, Apple could make this a pro feature if it’s too pricey for the Air—but I can’t wait for the day when I can unlock my Mac just by looking at it.

Removeable displays

One of the best features of the Vision Pro is Mac Virtual Display, where you can connect a Mac to a Vision Pro and open a giant workspace in visionOS. The Mac’s screen goes blank when this feature is on. The execution of this feature is very good and it opens both the Mac and Vision Pro to enormous possibilities.

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid lets you detach the screen to use as a tablet while plugging in the keyboard to an external display.


It feels like there’s an opportunity here to make a Mac specifically for use with the Vision Pro. It could be portable with just a built-in keyboard and trackpad–essentially, a MacBook without the display. Sounds wacky? Yup. Will Apple sell a lot of these? Probably not. But it could help sell a few more Vision Pro headsets.

To make it an even more versatile product, Apple could put an HDMI port and Thunderbolt/USB 4 connectors on it so you can attach a display. Or–since we’re thinking outside the box here–Apple could make it with a removable display. Take it off when using the Vision Pro, and put it on when using it as a typical MacBook. I’m thinking something similar to the , which lets you use the display as a tablet and the keyboard as a PC when attached to an external display.

Holographic MacBooks

This is another product that’s a natural extension of Vision Pro. The headset will be a boon to those whose work involves spatial environments, introducing new ways to do things–it could create a workflow that’s unique to Apple’s ecosystem. But what about that work when you don’t have the headset on? A Mac with a holographic display would be a perfect complement.

Spatial displays are in the works by third parties. For example, Looking Glass plans to ship its this summer. At $3,000 for the display–costing about as much as a Vision Pro–a MacBook with a spatial display would be extremely expensive, but it would be a very cool product that would stand out in Apple’s lineup and give Apple another foothold in the world of spatial computing.

Looking Glass has plans to release a spatial display in the summer. A Mac with a spatial display could be a great compliment to the Apple Vision Pro.

Curved iMac

The iMac is a terrific computer, but at 24 inches, it’s too small for many users. A 27-inch iMac is very much in demand, but Apple should go even bigger–make an iMac with a 38-inch or 42-inch curved display. Since curved displays tend to be marketed towards gamers, I’d like to see a gaming iMac with a high-end M-series Pro chip and high-end memory options.

Apple doesn’t have to market it as a gaming iMac, but a focus on the main area it has neglected would certainly help generate interest. Apple has been trying to tout its gaming prowess with the Mac, and a machine like this would certainly help. We saw plenty of curved monitors at CES, but none that were as cool as an Apple-designed all-in-one would be.

Light-up trackpad controls

Apple discontinued the 13-inch MacBook Pro last year, which means the once-promising Touch Bar is no more. While the Touch Bar wasn’t executed properly, it was a good idea. Macworld columnist Jason Snell would like to see a Magic Trackpad with programmable buttons, but why not take a cue from Acer’s laptop? It has media controls built into its trackpad. Apple could do a similar thing, perhaps with programmable controls.

Acer’s Swift Go 14 laptop has a trackpad with built-in media controls that light up when playing videos or music.


Mac, MacBook

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