Competitor to Microsoft Surface coming, as Apple patents their hybrid notebook tablet device

A new patent has been revealed by Patently Apple for a hybrid notebook tablet device by Apple. According to the patent filed, Apple claims their invention takes the form of a computing device that comes with a base and a display, which can be removed from one another. The display will primarily be a capacitive touchscreen display which can act as an input device for the base, that mounts the keyboard, for computations and other power and/or data transfers.

Hybrid notebook tablet patent by Apple

The base will be connected to the keyboard using retractable magnetic, mechanical and/or electronic mechanisms and the connection portions may retract into their respective enclosures once they are detached. The base and the display may wirelessly transfer data and/or power with each other when they are detached via Wifi/Bluetooth or any other wireless technology and they may share via wires when connected.

If it comes with the magnetic snap-on feature, it will wind up having similar functionality to Microsoft Surface. It will be interesting to see how Apple will get around to differentiate itself from the pool of hybrid notebook tablet devices from the likes of Microsoft and Asus, that got a good head start. Apple will have to be careful not to copy the technology being used by existing hybrid devices and yet carve out a niche for themselves.

As the patent was filed in 2011 and the design has changed since then, it makes us wonder who copied who – Microsoft or Apple. According to Apple, this hybrid convertible device can now be used as a single operable connected device or two separate communicating devices. Apple has wanted such a hybrid device since 2008. The design might have changed, since the Surface launched, but the patent still clearly indicates the mechanisms for a proposed device. It is nowhere close to final.

We will keep an eye out for more news related to the same till then you can go into the mechanisms here for full coverage by Patently Apple. So what do you think of the same? Do you think that Apple has been a latecomer to the world of hybrid devices or were you saving your hard earned money to lavishly spend on one such device by Apple, if and when it comes out?

Let us know about what you think, what miracles you expect from Apple and how far are you willing to wait to get onto the hybrid devices bandwagon by Apple in the comments below.