All New ModBook Pro – The Ultimate Mac Tablet

January 20, 2009

 

No, that picture is not a photoshopped prototype of what a Mac tablet "might" look like, "if" Apple were to produce a tablet. It’s the real deal.  Axiotron has just announced the 15.4" ModBook Pro, housed in the sleek, aluminum, unibody MacBook Pro base system.

The ModBook Pro will introduce Synergy Touch™ to the ModBook Pro.  Let me repeat, the ModBook Pro has both pen and touch input simultaneously – nothing new for tablet PCs, but definitely a breakthrough for Modbooks.  The 15.4" screen not only makes it the largest touch screen tablet on the market, but it’s also the most powerful.

There are two ways to go about buying your own Modbook Pro.  Axiotron Modbook Pro starts at $4,998 (not cheap) and comes with a 2.4GHz, 250GB HD, 2GB memory MacBook Pro base system.  You can upgrade from there.   The second way to get your own ModBook Pro is to send Axiotron your current MacBook Pro and have them convert it to a ModBook for the low low price of $3,049.  Pretty cool!

ModBook Pro vs Tablet PCs  For those of you unfamiliar, I wrote an extensive article last year on Axiotron’s Modbook, which gives Mac users their own tablet PC.  Being a self-professed mutt, a tablet PC advocate for writers, and a Mac enthusiast, I find myself torn between two technology worlds.  I’ve test-driven the Modbook quite a few times and there are three things that bother me: The lack of Cocoa framework, tablet-specific software; handwriting recognition and no attachable keyboard.

New Keyboard for Modbook Pro???   Let’s start backwards with the keyboard annoyance.  To date you have to jimmy-rig a stand/docking station and attach a USB or Bluetooth keyboard. BUT HOLD THE PHONES!  A solution may be literally "at hand".  With the new Synergy Touch™ technology an on-screen touch keyboard could be the solution I’ve been waiting for.  Using a keyboard similar the iPhone, it would offer a quick input solution for mobile users wanting to type up an email, IM, etc.  It sure would be nice if you were way ahead of me on this, Axiotron.

It’s not Cocoa, but it works…sort of.    The new Modbook Pro offers the option of a partitioned drive, pre-installed with Windows Vista which helps make up for the lack of seamless Cocoa framework tablet software. Or does it?  Yes, the dual operating system offers you all the tablet PC software inside of Windows but it raises the question, "If you’re hanging out in Windows anyway, why not pay $899 ($4,099 less) and buy an HP TX 2500z tablet PC?"

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