Sure, Apple offers an optional keyboard accessory for the iPad. But it’s a two piece solution that you can’t easily rest on your lap. Enter the LapDock, a third party contraption that offers the shell of a laptop including a space for a keyboard and… well, not much else. But there’s room to insert an iPad which functions as the brains of the computer, not to mention the display.

The LapDock is just a design prototype for now and isn’t available for purchase. And while it might make it easier to use the iPad and Bluetooth keyboard on your lap, it doesn’t offer any of the other functionality you would expect from a full fledged laptop such as USB ports, a webcam, or the ability to run desktop apps that weren’t designed for the touch-friendly iPad or iPhone.

Since there’s no touchpad or mouse (and the iPad wouldn’t know what to do with one even if you had one), you’d have to tap away at the keyboard and then reach up to the display to navigate — which in my experience is more awkward than it sounds. But hey… you’ve got to give these guys credit for thinking outside inside the box, right?

There’s no word on pricing yet, but the LapDock folks plan to announce more details soon.

You can check out a video of the LapDock prototype after the break.

via Engadget

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6 replies on “LapDock turns an iPad into a laptop… running iPhone OS”

  1. It needs more…style. Otherwise it’s much better than Apple’s…that thing is ridiculous. Who want’s a portrait screen when they’re typing.

  2. This was my idea…

    I decided nobody would want it though, so I didn’t move forward with the idea.

  3. I can instantly make this design better. Also make it harder to manufacture…but it will make using it better.

    Instead of the keyboard sitting in front of the screen, have the keyboard slightly tucked-under the screen…i.e. pull the screen forward on a gimbaled armature. Ideally you’d want the tips of your fingers just a 1/8″ under the edge of the screen while typing. In that way you just swing a finger up and touch the screen and bring it down again to keep typing.

    Either that or wear a beak so when you want to touch the screen you bob your head and touched the screen with you elongated nose. Maybe put one of those Korean sausages at the end of the beak so it thinks it is your finger.

  4. I know it kind of defeats the purpose of having a handy tablet, but I’d get one of these…if I had an iPad, of course.

    I commute by SEPTA rail and rarely, if ever, get a chance to use my netbook. It is either too crowded to sit or, if seated, I’m worried about someone in the seat in front of me slamming backward into my screen (it’s happened).

    Yet to replace my laptop, I’d need something beyond the touchscreen to enter text…as you can tell, I’m longwinded. Something like this would be ideal. I could carry the iPad all day around the office and from meeting to meeting and still scoot out type on a keyboard when I’m feeling restless. Great for conferences, too. I’m sold.

  5. it seems to me that the major complaint about the apple branded ipad case is that

    1. it cant fit in the dock at the same time.

    2. no way to carry a bluetooth keyboard inside the case.

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