If the iMac is all-screen, the MacBook Go is the absolute opposite – it’s all keyboard. Built with its own DLP projector, this all-in-one keyboard is everything you need to work anywhere. Just find yourself an empty wall, pair a Magic Mouse for convenience, and you’re ready to go. The keyboard-shaped device is, in fact, a full-fledged computer, running on Apple’s own silicon. Who needs spatial computing when you can have a computer in your keyboard!?
Designer: Pablo Rubio Villarroel
Designed by Pablo Rubio, the MacBook Go aims at building a new format for computing. It integrates projector and keyboard into one deceptively compact form factor, creating a novel way to carry your workstation with you, sans screen. Instead, the keyboard projects a high-resolution massive 120Hz screen onto any surface you point it at, giving you something much better than multiple screens – one massive screen that can house all your windows and tabs.
Outwardly, the MacBook Go looks and feels exactly like a MacBook without the display. It has everything the MacBook’s 65% keyboard has to offer, from the function keys on the top with the TouchID key on the top right corner, to even the large speakers on either side. Underneath its hood, however, the keyboard is a Mac computer through and through, with its own projector that can automatically orient, keystone, and focus the screen so you don’t spend half an hour sitting and aligning the display. What the keyboard lacks, however, on first glance, is a kickstand for height adjustment… but I’m probably being pedantic.
The relatively thick design blesses the MacBook Go with an abundance of ports, as well as more powerful speakers that rely on bigger drivers. With a range of video outputs including HDMI and DisplayPort, along with two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a Micro-SD card slot, and a 10-Gig Ethernet port, this concept device ensures all-round connectivity. The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a nod to both traditionalists and professionals who need reliable audio connections.
But what does this mean for the traditional workstation? In the design world, and indeed in many fields, the shift from bulky CPU towers to sleek, powerful laptops is well underway. Some might argue that the Vision Pro is the natural successor to the MacBook, but I’d probably disagree. The MacBook Go feels like a unique intermediary step, albeit portable projectors for work haven’t really caught on. Nevertheless, the MacBook Go sacrifices a stationary display for unparalleled portability and flexibility, giving you a massive projected screen instead of limiting you to a 13 or 15-inch laptop display. The implications are profound, especially for professionals who are always on the move.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time someone’s crammed an entire computer into a keyboard. Just a few short years ago, Pentaform managed to fit a full Windows 10 PC into their Abacus Basic keyboard, complete with 4 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and an entirely sustainable outer body made from bioplastic. I doubt Apple would ever make any of their machines from plastic, so the MacBook Go definitely lacks that distinction. It does, however, make up for it with a projector lens, which Pentaform’s Abacus Basic keyboard lacked.