Have you ever wanted to reach out and touch your MacBook’s screen to select something or open a new window? Some people have always preferred navigating their devices like tablets, tapping and swiping away to complete their tasks. And while using a tablet for business has become increasingly routine, if you have a new Apple computer and wondered, “Are Macbooks touch screen?” you’ve come to the right place.
Touchscreen laptops have seen a surge in popularity, with 2-in-1 laptops being one of their most popular option for those who can’t live without touch screens. If you want to know if your Macbook has touch screen features you still need to learn about or how to turn your Macbook into a touch screen Mac, read on!
Are Macbooks Touch Screen?
Unfortunately, most Macbooks that are sold don’t have touch screens. While it may seem evident that Macbooks should have a touch screen, like the other devices in Apple’s arsenal, like the iPad and iPhone, it isn’t the case. The only touch screen element Macbooks tend to have is the Touch Bar – a touch screen strip that lets you customize your favorite shortcuts and functions.
However, this isn’t enough for many people, and the knowledge that Macbooks don’t support touch input, unlike many market touchscreen laptops, may dissuade them from buying it. If you’re not planning to optimize your Macbook for gaming or want alternatives to create a touchscreen Mac, finding touch displays for your laptop is a natural progression.
But before tackling options to do so, let’s quickly discuss why Macbooks don’t have touch screens.
Why aren’t Macbooks touch screen?
As we’ve said, the touch interface is a natural part of the Apple product lineup. But Apple engineers still need to create touchscreen Macs except for the aforementioned Touch Bar. Why? Apple likely has focused on the more traditional laptop design, similar to the other laptop models they’re competing with.
In addition to being an ergonomically terrible choice (the OLED technology behind touch screens can be bulky and delicate), the costs would add touch screens to the latest models of Macbooks. Macbooks, of course, are notoriously expensive already.
It doesn’t seem like Apple will be adding touch support to their Macbook Pro or Macbook Air models soon, but there are some ways to create touch surfaces to navigate your device.
How to Make Your Macbook Touch Screen
You have a couple of choices to make your Macbook have a touchscreen. You could purchase an Airbar, a product from Neonode that allows you to turn any laptop or Macbook into a touchscreen laptop. Unfortunately, this product is hard to find as Neonode has discontinued it, but it can still be bought through a few marketplace websites like eBay.
Otherwise, transforming your Macbook into a proper touchscreen Mac may be done at your local laptop store or repair shop, but it will cost you quite a bit. These technical additions are challenging to complete, will void your Macbook’s warranty, and might cause some difficult bugs and glitches for the screen. While possible, forcing your Macbook to be a touch screen isn’t advised.
Finally, you can use the deep integration between Apple’s products to utilize your other touchscreen devices. Using your tablet as a second monitor will save your battery life and screen from being ruined by adding on a touchscreen and seamlessly integrate into your work-life balance once you’ve got the hang of using the two for an extended period.
For example, if you need to sign something or add a quick illustration to your project, you can send the file quickly to your iPad, whip out your Apple Pencil, draw it, and then send it back within minutes. No touchscreen laptop is needed.
If these options don’t offer a solution, then the best thing you can do is wait. While Apple has stated they don’t want to compromise their iPad sales by introducing Macs with touch screens, that is changing. The first touchscreen Macs are reportedly developing and combining the MacOS operating system with touchscreen capabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know all you need to know about why Macbooks don’t have a touch screen and how to skirt this issue and add your multi-touch systems, you’re all set to work more efficiently. If there are elements that you want to know more about or have yet to find a suitable substitute, then read some of the frequently asked questions.
Otherwise, why read some of our articles, like how to fix your GPU not spinning or how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your laptop?
Why Macbooks aren’t touchscreen?
Tim Cook has previously mentioned that Macbooks aren’t touch screens because they may impact iPad sales and require greater integration with iPhone apps. The very best laptops on the market that people use for work also don’t usually have touchscreens, so their software engineering is focused on making the best computers possible – and unfortunately, screens don’t come into that equation.
Which Macbook has a touch bar?
Only one Macbook currently on the market has the infamous Touch Bar – the Macbook Pro (13-inch). Keep in mind that only the 13-inch Macbook option has this Touch Bar; the 14-inch and 16-inch versions don’t come with it. Refrain from creating a frustrating experience for yourself and mistakenly buy the wrong model if you want to invest in this unique piece of tech.
Are Macbooks worth it?
Although Macbooks are more expensive, they are well worth the price tag if you want to invest in a piece of hardware for several years. Macbooks are excellent for productivity tasks and for staying actively engaged in your other passions like art and editing. Steve Jobs and the other brainiacs behind Apple ensured that the MacOS was ideal for everyday work and play.
That being said, the only downside of Macbooks is their dismal gaming capabilities. For a more powerful gaming laptop, check out our Alienware Aurora review.
There you have it! Hopefully, now you’ve found a decent alternative for the MacBook’s lack of touchscreen options or decided to move over to Microsoft Windows 2-in-1 laptops that accommodate these functionalities. At the end of the day, while Macbooks currently don’t have a useable touchscreen feature that you can use like an iPad or iPhone, there are several ways to go about it.
Otherwise, you can always wait until the heralded Apple touchscreen laptops come out for sale. If you enjoyed reading this article, check how to remove stickers from your laptops.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.