'Modbook Pro X' Tablet Based on 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Debuts on Kickstarter

Modbook, the company with a history of offering pen-based Mac tablets using the internals of Apple's notebooks, is announcing a new Kickstarter campaign today to support the launch of a new Modbook Pro X based on the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The $150,000 campaign will allow users to send in their own machines for conversion at $1999 or reserve complete systems directly from Modbook starting at $3999.

modbook_pro_x

An innovative computer modification product, the Modbook Pro X incorporates the original hardware of a Retina-display Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-inch base system running the OS X 10.10 Yosemite operating system. The expansive drawing and writing surface of the Modbook Pro X has a scratch-resistant ForceGlass screen with paper-emulating texture that covers a crisp, clear 15.4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2,880 by 1,800 pixels. Users get highly sensitive pen input with 2,048 pen pressure levels and pen tilt and rotate functionality for producing pro-quality creative deliverables.

Various configurations of the Modbook Pro X are available, including processor options ranging up to the top-of-the-line 2.8 GHz chip launched in the Retina MacBook Pro just yesterday, up to 32 GB of RAM, and up to 2 TB of flash storage.

modbook_pro_x_keybars
Additional options for Modbook Pro X customers include integrated Keybars on the rear of the device providing eyes-free programmable access to key combinations for commands and shortcuts, as well as a Keyboard Stand that serves as a keyboard, adjustable easel stand, and protective cover for the Modbook Pro X.

modbook_pro_x_stand
Shipping on complete systems is scheduled for January 2015 in limited quantities, with the bulk of orders starting the following month. Send-in-your-own systems are planned to begin shipping roughly a month later.

Given its price, the Modbook Pro X is obviously targeted at a niche market interested in a tablet running full OS X such as creative professionals, but for those people the device may be an appealing option. For others, particularly those who would appreciate an OS X-based iPad, it's at least an interesting example of what can be done.

Backers not interested in a full Modbook system can also support the project through cheaper rewards such as a $59 Modbook Digitizer Pen that is compatible with an array of pen-based tablets or a Modbook Shuttle portable hard drive starting at $139.

Top Rated Comments

subjonas Avatar
85 months ago
don't be confused

Wow there is a lot of misunderstanding here as to what the Modbook is. It's a creative "pro" work machine. It's not a touch tablet, and it's NOT meant for the "consumer". To be clear, it's this

plus this

combined.

If you don't know what the second device is, it's a Cintiq. It's a pen-abled screen meant for professional digital artists. It is widely used and indispensable to most digital artists' workflow. It's meant to be used in conjunction with desktop computers and creative desktop applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Storyboard Pro, etc.--again, it is not intended (nor able) to be used with mobile OSes and apps.
As indispensable as they are to digital artists, the downside to relying on Cintiqs is that they pose a problem for artists whose job requires a lot of moving around. They have a 13" version that is technically portable, but having to carry and set up an external monitor in addition to your laptop greatly diminishes portability value.
PC-based artists have for a long time had a vast number of options for an ALL-IN-ONE pen-abled laptop solution (Surface Pro, Wacom Companion, many various tablet-PCs and hybrids), while Mac-based artists have had absolutely zero options (until the Modbook came along), since Apple is the only company to make Mac and OS X, and they have never shown interest in digital pens.

So just to reiterate--if you are not a person who makes a living from drawing on a Mac (or a rich hobbyist), then this product is completely irrelevant to you. So don't be confused as to why you don't see its utility. But for Mac-based professional artists (myself included), this is an unquestionable dream machine. Albeit, a very expensive dream. But since for me it would be an investment that would definitely see return, I will be buying one as soon my pocketbook allows. :)

And I'm pretty sure Apple does not have a problem with the Modbook, because all it can do is promote more Mac sales, since you need a Macbook in order to make a Modbook. What I wonder is how Axiotron is able to use Wacom pen technology, since the Modbook seems to compete directly with the Wacom Companion. Maybe because it's a different OS Wacom allows it.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrazyForApple Avatar
85 months ago
I don't really see the point of this and it is quite ugly
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtrenthacker Avatar
85 months ago
Those buttons on the back look like the worst idea ever.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
85 months ago
Opinionated Philistines...

http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro?product=MGXA2LL/A&step=config
+
https://store.wacom.com/us/en/product/DTH2400/

vs.

$4000 for an untethered, portable, all in one, with a retina-resolution display? The Modbook's a steal, and a heck of a lot more convenient.

As for Apple, they've granted Axiotron permission to offer their parts & service since 2007. You can stop speculating on what you think Apple will think about this. It's not new. You're just late to the party.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kaltsasa Avatar
85 months ago

WTF is this ! 2,000 USD for conversion or 4,000 USD for a new one !!! this is hilarious :confused: Apple should ban this ! and who uses a pen-based tablet nowadays anymore ! it's just a rip-off.:mad::mad:


It's a niche product for a certain subset of people. The ModBook has been around for a long time and was showcased at several MacWorld Expos. At a minimum they have tacit approval from Apple brass to continue to produce these products.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eweie Avatar
85 months ago

You want OS X on your tablet? Get an iPad. It's OS X with a UI designed for a tablet.


*facepalm* it's not about having a tablet. I guess for normal people like you a tablet is simply a place you watch youtube and fb in.
For us artist when we hear tablet, it's a screen or a surface we can paint on with a pressure sensitive, accurate pen. as it says in the article their mod even has pen tilt and rotation just as a wacom tablet.

you are not getting who they are targeting this tablet to at all.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...