An iPad with Transformer-like keyboard dock? I'm down with that

Apple's recent statement that an ARM-based MacBook is not on the table leads CNET to speculate on a new iPad with a Transformer-like keyboard. Count me in.

So many rumors have swirled around the web about the next iPad that even Apple CEO Tim Cook recently responded to them in a roundabout way. His statement made it clear that the iPad will soon satisfy the needs an ARM MacBook would satisfy for those interested.

That's a typical blurry vision of a future product from Apple, but CNET conjects that perhaps that means a new iPad with an Apple keyboard option like that found on the ASUS Transformer Prime might be in the works. That's a dock with a full keyboard that a tablet snaps in for double duty as a laptop replacement.

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The thought of an Apple iPad with keyboard solution has me giddy, I admit. I currently use my iPad 2 with a separate wireless keyboard case, and while that serves me well the prospect of a real Apple keyboard dock is exciting.

ASUS has produced an outstanding product in the Transformer Prime. The Android tablet plugs into the laptop dock and becomes the thinnest, lightest laptop around, with the advantage of running a mobile OS. It is no wonder the Transformer Prime is a top-selling Android tablet, and the laptop dock is a big reason for its success.

If Apple produces an iPad as thin and light as the iPad 2, and offers an equally thin laptop dock, I think it would outsell all previous iPad models. I also think it would outsell the Transformer Prime in about two weeks. The key is keeping the iPad a great tablet, yet adding the optional laptop functionality. Put a second battery in the keyboard, a la the Transformer Prime, and you'd have an outstanding mobile computer without compromise.

I'd get my wallet out for an iPad/ keyboard combo without hesitation. How about you?

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