'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.

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Top Rated Comments

subjonas Avatar
128 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
128 months ago
I don't really see the point of this and it is quite ugly
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jtrenthacker Avatar
128 months ago
Those buttons on the back look like the worst idea ever.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
128 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
128 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
128 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)