The ModBook

By on January 10, 2007

Amid all the hoopla surrounding Apple’s new iPhone, another newly introduced Apple-related item hasn’t received much press; Axiotron and Other World Computing (OWC) introduced the ModBook, the first tablet Mac portable.

It sounds like the ModBook is exactly what the name implies; a Modded MacBook. According to Axiotron, they provide the ModBook conversion kit to OWC. OWC then takes a stock MacBook (with a 1.83 or 2GHz Intel dual core processor), tear the original LCD from it and add all the goodies.

Of course, since you’re starting with a stock MacBook and paying people to add parts, it’s going to be spendy. Starting price for the 1.83GHz model is $2,279; two trim levels of the 2GHz model go for $2,579 & $2,849. Ouch. Even though the top models include tons of RAM (1GB & 2GB, respectively) and built-in GPS, that’s still a lot of cash.

And one can only surmise that since OWC is modifying new MacBooks, they’ll eventually start selling the kit to existing MacBook owners — ship your MacBook off to OWC on Monday & get it back on Wednesday, conversion completed. And $1,500 or so charged to your plastic. Ouch.

I still wonder at why Apple hasn’t done a tablet Mac themselves; OS X has had Inkwell Handwriting Recognition since version 10.2, but has never really put it to use. You’d have to add a tablet to make use of it, which makes no sense on a portable.

I for one am glad that someone has finally done this. Time will only tell how solid the conversion is, and how they hold up. And how much of a market there is for an OS X tablet computer.

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