In addition to unveiling a new version of iOS, watchOS and macOS, Apple also shared an intriguing new feature called Universal Control at WWDC 2021 today. In the latest macOS, called Monterey, you'll be able to bring an iPad next to your MacBook and simply drag your cursor over from your laptop to the tablet.
It's not yet clear what versions of either device will support this feature, nor what technology is being used to connect the two. But it looks like the MacBook will detect the tablet fairly seamlessly and you can then use its keyboard and cursor to work on the iPad. This will let you do things like drag and drop files between the two machines or use your laptop's keyboard to type out Spotlight searches on the tablet. This way, you won't need to buy a separate keyboard case to get a physical mouse and keyboard for the iPad.
We're still waiting on details around compatibility, but it does seem like the recent move to ARM-based systems help these devices play nicely together. As we learn more about what machines you can actually run macOS Monterey and Universal Control on, we'll update this post, so stay tuned for those details.