Dear Aunt TUAW,
So is this year that we see the MacBook touch? What do you think is going to debut this fall?
Your loving nephew,
Auntie is already deciding on specs for her MacBook touch, even though she recognizes how utterly remote the likelihood is of Apple going in that direction. She does not encourage you to hold your breath on that account.
That being said, Auntie envisions 11" and 13" models that work with and without a keypad/trackpad accessory. Because Auntie likes speculating.
She especially likes the idea of dual-mode boot to pick the OS, allowing the unit to flip between iPad and OS X. With Bootcamp, her MacBook touch might even run Linux and Windows -- because she finds it particularly hilarious to think that the first successful touch Windows and touch Linux might be running on Apple hardware. Mind you, there's already been a Linux-on-iPhone/Android-on-iPhone thing going on for a few years via planetbeing.
In Auntie's dreams, this delicious technical concoction would have a starting price for 64 GB model around $999.
So why the touch? Why take a perfectly successful line of laptops and touch-ize them? Especially when no one wants to use vertical screens. Auntie isn't thinking about the office; she's dreaming of the road.
If you've ever spent long periods of time using LogMeIn/iTeleport/etc on the iPad, you'll get the "why" of all this: because work does matter and while the iPad does cross the boundary between lightweight computing and serious work, it does so under protest. Moving OS X to a tablet form factor with Mac software running on it can be a big win for corporate computing. The iPad has proved how useful that is. OS X adds more power.
In the end, Auntie's summary is this: Longshot, certainly. Realm of possibility, totally. Likelihood, don't hold your breath.
But Auntie can dream, can't she?