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Axiotron's ModBook: distributed by OWC, tolerated by Apple

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
January 9, 2007
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Since Apple is a bit too busy making teh sexay phones, OWC and Axiotron are taking up the slack with their new ModBook, which hacks up MacBooks and turns them into glorious slate-style tablet computers. The duo didn't cut many corners, either, since their MacBook mods hold onto most of those original specs, plus add in an optional built-in GPS module, and of course that Penabled Wacom digitizer. Pen input runs at 20x display resolution, with 256 pressure levels and zero battery use, and the MacBook's LCD is protected with some Chemically Strengthened glass, complete with a paper-like texture and anti-reflective coating. The ModBook is also shielded by aircraft grade magnesium alloy, with a copper and nickel layers for scratch resistance. Thanks to that slot-loading MacBook drive, the ModBook is apparently the only slate-style tablet computer with a built in CD/DVD drive, making it a nice option for portable DVD playback use. The ModBook is relying on Apple's Inkwell technology and other OS X enhancements for tablet functionality. Naturally, they're not exactly giving these things away, but the prices still seem reasonable for what you're getting: $2199-$2699 pre-order pricing for the "Good," "Better" and "Best" options. The latter two feature GPS, but if you pre-order now you can get it tossed into the low-end version as well. No word on an exact ship date, but it sounds like it won't be until March, April or later.

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