Apple is working on a modular MacBook Pro

A recently filed patent shows a fully customisable Mac format

2023 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch M2 Pro review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

While the best MacBooks on the market currently represent the pinnacle of Apple's computing ingenuity, it may not be that way for long. That's because some patents have been unearthed which show off a revolutionary modular MacBook concept.

Images taken from the filing show off the idea pretty conclusively. Users can interchange different modules to build the device they need. The ones shown include a fairly traditional keyboard and screen configuration, a dual screen option, and even more unusual pairings like an extra screen beneath the keyboard for drawing.

While still clearly in a very early stage, it's an exciting prospect. As someone who is very invested in the wider Apple ecosystem, it can be frustrating. Sure, the MacBook Air covers almost everything I could ever want, but what about those odd occasions when I need to sign something or sketch out an idea?

Well, that needs an iPad, with an accompanying Apple Pencil if you want the best experience. The trouble is, that might only ever be needed for those scenarios, leaving it relatively unused at other times.

With a modular system, you could attach a screen to your device to sign that document or add that sketch, and then detach it to carry on working as normal. It could even be possible to use that screen as a second monitor when it isn't acting as a digital notepad, adding even more usefulness.

There's no indication of when – or, indeed, if – this will hit the market. Right now, with the patent only recently filed, it could be a long way off. And it might never see the light of day at all. Big companies like Apple tend to claim patents for anything and everything they are working on. It's no guarantee of a future device.

Personally, I hope this one does make it to market. If the whole thing can be given the classic Apple design and build quality, it could be a really spectacular device. Even simple things like being able to detach your laptop screen once you get to your desk could make a difference. You could prop that up on a stand at a better height, but keep the keyboard in the correct place at the same time.

For now, though, we'll just have to wait and see what comes in the future.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.