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MacRumors
Jan 4, 2007, 04:19 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Other World Computing pre-announced (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ModBook) the Axiotron ModBook today.... a 3rd party Mac "tablet computer solution".

The ModBook is a Mac tablet computer solution with these features:

• Write and draw directly on screen!
• True pen & handwriting recognition
• Built in iSight Camera
• Integrated CD/DVD combo drive
• The ONLY Mac solution with an optional built-in Global Positioning System
• Aircraft grade magnesium alloy for all terrain use

The ModBook will apparently be a heavily modified MacBook in the tablet form-factor and will be officially unveiled at Macworld Expo on January 9th. A hands-on trial of the device will be available at that time.

This year, MacRumors will be posting photos and reports from Macworld booths. A Macworld San Francisco sub-forum (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=98) has been opened and we encourage vendors to register and participate in the discussion of their products.



evilgEEk
Jan 4, 2007, 04:23 PM
Sounds pretty cool. But I still don't think tablets are all that practical.

arn
Jan 4, 2007, 04:24 PM
they have to be pretty confident that Apple's not releasing a tablet at MWSF... :)

arn

albeik
Jan 4, 2007, 04:25 PM
Interesting teaser they have on there website...
http://www.axiotron.com/uploads/pics/Home_20070104_02.jpg

DontBurnTheDayy
Jan 4, 2007, 04:25 PM
Tablets suck



unless they're made by Apple.

ninjadex
Jan 4, 2007, 04:25 PM
Cease And Desist

Texas04
Jan 4, 2007, 04:25 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.

know-it-all5
Jan 4, 2007, 04:26 PM
Are you serious? In all seriousness, has the validity of this been checked. I checked the link and it left me a bit skeptical. Plus there is now way apple would let someone else make a computer that they have using their os.
IS THIS REAL?

Bonte
Jan 4, 2007, 04:27 PM
I want a real clone, not a mod :(

Changing the ROM with some PC notebooks is enough to let it install a normal MacMini osX DVD, it can't be long until someone offer's a osX compatible PC's. Right?

Bonte
Jan 4, 2007, 04:28 PM
Are you serious? In all seriousness, has the validity of this been checked. I checked the link and it left me a bit skeptical. Plus there is now way apple would let someone else make a computer that they have using their os.
IS THIS REAL?

They buy a Macbook and mod it to a Tablet at twice the price, thats all.

MacQuest
Jan 4, 2007, 04:28 PM
:eek: HOLY SHIZZLE!!! :eek:

Like I said all throughout 2006, 2007 will be the year that Apple breaks into new markets and does to them what the iPod/iTunes combination did to the digital music player/legal online content distribution markets.

Gentlemen, THIS IS WAR!!! :cool:

bradc
Jan 4, 2007, 04:29 PM
Weird, seems like a dicy move if a) Apple makes a tablet and b) Apple Legal Department....

know-it-all5
Jan 4, 2007, 04:30 PM
This isn't gonna hog up any of the keynote right?

Oh and does modbook mean they modded a macbook to be a tablet? wont apple sue them for selling modded versions of their product under their nose, and introducing it at THIR TRADESHOW?

shawnce
Jan 4, 2007, 04:33 PM
Weird, seems like a dicy move if a) Apple makes a tablet and b) Apple Legal Department....

Why? They likely make you purchase a MacBook (on your dime), ship it to them, and then they modify it to make it a tablet and give it back to you. This would obviously void Apple's warranty so they also likely provide support for this modified MacBook.

shelterpaw
Jan 4, 2007, 04:33 PM
I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

know-it-all5
Jan 4, 2007, 04:35 PM
Why? They likely make you purchase a MacBook (on your dime), ship it to them, and then they modify it to make it a tablet and give it back to you. This would obviously void Apple's warranty so they also likely provide support for this modified MacBook.


that sounds realistic though, as long as its not an actual "new" product that is gonna hog my true vpod time at macworld. lol

johncarync
Jan 4, 2007, 04:36 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.

It's all legal...
Imagine someone buying a Corvette, modifying it with a higer horsepower engine and adding a huge spoiler to the back. Then they sell it to a buyer for a higher price.

I believe OWC is purchasing MacBooks from Apple, modifying them, and then selling them for a higher price. It is completely legal. It's similar to what the Outbound computer company did in 1989 when they came out with a Macintosh portable.

Whether or not OWCs Tablet Mac is profitable for them remains to be seen.

-John

Lynxpoint
Jan 4, 2007, 04:39 PM
Why? They likely make you purchase a MacBook (on your dime), ship it to them, and then they modify it to make it a tablet and give it back to you. This would obviously void Apple's warranty so they also likely provide support for this modified MacBook.

Also, if colorware can buy macs, paint them, and resell them why can't a company buy macs, change a few parts, and resell them?

MoparShaha
Jan 4, 2007, 04:45 PM
Sounds awesome. Just because Apple isn't making them, doesn't mean they're no good.

I look forward to seeing this thing in action.

Clive At Five
Jan 4, 2007, 04:45 PM
Shady but legal. I will be very interested to see how this plays out, both within the next couple days, but also in the long-term. Could this be the beginning of a new type of "legal" clone?

I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

That much is the truth.

-Clive

Chaszmyr
Jan 4, 2007, 04:47 PM
they have to be pretty confident that Apple's not releasing a tablet at MWSF... :)

arn

I doubt they really know one way or the other. You, more than anyone, know these people don't usually get any privileged information. They're just taking a risk, and it's probably a relatively safe one.

BBC B 32k
Jan 4, 2007, 04:47 PM
can't stop laughing ... :D :D :D

seriously this has made my day, the only thing which will make me laugh more is if by some temperal-field-warp Apple release a tablet PC at macworld also!

Clive At Five
Jan 4, 2007, 04:48 PM
Also, if colorware can buy macs, paint them, and resell them why can't a company buy macs, change a few parts, and resell them?

Does Colorware's paint job void the warranty?

-Clive

gkarris
Jan 4, 2007, 04:50 PM
Back in the day, before the Mac portable, one company took MacSE ROMs and made a portable....

Here:

http://www.lowendmac.com/clones/outbound.html

sweetandsour
Jan 4, 2007, 04:51 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.


It makes good sense. I imagine this has all been discussed and agreed with apple.

No more tablet R&D for apple, no new product support for apple, no embarrassment if no-one buys one.
But if lots of people buy one, then apple sell heaps of extra macbooks (to OWC) that they already make a good margin on for negligible extra effort.
If the market goes crazy for 'em, then apple can always make their own, having done all the market testing / user feedback for free.

Win-Win-Win situation. Smart.

MrCrowbar
Jan 4, 2007, 04:52 PM
I've seen Mac tablets on eBay a while ago. They were modded iBooks for 2200 EUR ($2500 US) if I remember right. It was an iBook 12" mainboard with all the innards (HDD, RAM, ports, optical drive) in a new case with an included touch screen. OSX supports touchscreens and has the whole handwriting recognition built in, so there's no real software changes necessary. Inly downside: those things were thicker than an iBook, i.e. too thick for a tablet you want to use.

The interesting thing here is that they want to show off that thing at Macworld. I doubt they will have some speaking time at the keynote, but a booth, why not. Apple might handle this company like those guys that make accessories for the iPod. I expect those things to appear on Apple's online store somewhere. The hardware is all Apple, so I don't think there's a legal issue here. Just a different case and screen. Who knows, maybe you can order a BTO Macbook without the case, battery and screen for a little cheaper, so you can send it to the modders (or ship it directly to them from the apple store).

Personally, I wouldn't get one of those because it's basically a crippled laptop but your taste may vary. The built in GPS sounds cool tho... is there any good GPS software for OSX out there?

nptski
Jan 4, 2007, 04:53 PM
As a real estate agent, I currently carry a Fujitsu T4010 to write contracts paperlessly. It is very cool and easy except for the windoze fight. I can email them efficiently to everyone that needs them and to the clients. They are legal as they become a tiff which is essentially a fax. The clients like it as it goes directly to their email account and they can print it if they need to. I can also print a hard copy at the site however I have never been asked.

I also use the tablet to fill out forms and sign them which is cool because it eliminates faxing generations. Marking up something or sketching something is fast and efficient as well. I ould buy a "Tabbook" (my term) in a minute. I currently run my R.E. vertical software in Parallels but have to print to sign so I have the Fujitisu at the ready in a bag in the car.

gkarris
Jan 4, 2007, 04:54 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.

Since the early to late 1990's:

http://www.lowendmac.com/clones/

tominated
Jan 4, 2007, 04:54 PM
Sounds awesome. Just because Apple isn't making them, doesn't mean they're no good.

I look forward to seeing this thing in action.

i agree with that. it's awesome!

nptski
Jan 4, 2007, 04:55 PM
How about Writebook, iRitebook, iWriteBook, Macbook-W...

Kirkmedia
Jan 4, 2007, 04:57 PM
I doubt they really know one way or the other. You, more than anyone, know these people don't usually get any privileged information. They're just taking a risk, and it's probably a relatively safe one.

It's a very safe risk, because apple is probably subsidizing the whole deal.

dejo
Jan 4, 2007, 04:57 PM
Does Colorware's paint job void the warranty?
Yes, Colorware's paint job voids the original manufacturer's warranty but they also include their own one-year warranty (with an extended warranty available).

MrCrowbar
Jan 4, 2007, 04:58 PM
Does Colorware's paint job void the warranty?

-Clive

No, it does not void the warranty. A friend of mine wacked his hard drive on a colorware'd iBook and was still under warranty. Sent it to Apple and they replaced the HDD, no charge. But you can't return them to Apple. It's handled like a custom engraved iPod.

I wonder if the people at Colorware take the stuff apart to paint it or if they just cover parts you don't want painted (screen, ports etc) like when you paint a window frame.

inmotion
Jan 4, 2007, 04:58 PM
link down?

MrCrowbar
Jan 4, 2007, 04:59 PM
Yes, Colorware's paint job voids the original manufacturer's warranty but they also include their own one-year warranty (with an extended warranty available).

Maybe that's new? My friend who sent his in didn't ask, he just sent it to Apple for repair and was not charged for anything.

Clive At Five
Jan 4, 2007, 05:00 PM
Back in the day, before the Mac portable, one company took MacSE ROMs and made a portable....

Here:

http://www.lowendmac.com/clones/outbound.html

Yeah, but Apple in 1989 is very different from Apple in 2007

-Clive

Clive At Five
Jan 4, 2007, 05:04 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.
Since the early to late 1990's:

http://www.lowendmac.com/clones/

Uh... OS X was released in what year? ;)

-Clive

AppleIntelRock
Jan 4, 2007, 05:05 PM
"Aircraft grade magnesium alloy for all terrain use"
Sounds nice to me :D

Peel
Jan 4, 2007, 05:05 PM
It makes good sense. I imagine this has all been discussed and agreed with apple.

No more tablet R&D for apple, no new product support for apple, no embarrassment if no-one buys one.
But if lots of people buy one, then apple sell heaps of extra macbooks (to OWC) that they already make a good margin on for negligible extra effort.
If the market goes crazy for 'em, then apple can always make their own, having done all the market testing / user feedback for free.

Win-Win-Win situation. Smart.

Hmm... This is where we find out that OWC is a shadow company wholly owned by Apple, so that they can see what the market will bear for a Mac Tablet without getting their reputation blemished if it's a total flop.

dernhelm
Jan 4, 2007, 05:11 PM
link down?

It's been MacRumored!

Digital Skunk
Jan 4, 2007, 05:12 PM
I don't think Apple has their hands in this one. If Apple agreed to let OWC take this on then OWC got something out of the deal as well. Apple wouldn't let OWC succeed in a market while using their own hardware... then when Apple stepped into the market after a few quarters of success OWC just steps over and lets them in. :confused:

Naw... If that happened then OWC has to get something out of the deal besides just selling modded macbooks. They would have to make sure Apple didn't just make a real Mac Tablet and take all of their customers away. I think OWC is just taking a MacBook and modded it and selling it back to customers with a new warrenty. I think it is a bit too much for a computer that doesn't have that much more functionality over a regular notebook. Tablets are more of a niche market than the ultra-portable 11.1 inch screen notebooks. I don't see a wave of tablet owning college students in the library or anywhere for that matter. And when I do see the one or two students that have them they usually use their machine like a regular notebook.

They may flip the screen to show someone how it works or to show a document but how hard would it be to just turn the whole computer around. Other than that you can write on the screen... and that isn't that impressive if you don't do anything outside of animation and graphics. And you don't want to do that on a moderate sized 13 or 12 inch screen.

So of all the features of a tablet (the only 2) all of them can be seen as niche.

Just my 10 cents;)

JimUrban
Jan 4, 2007, 05:14 PM
"The built in GPS sounds cool tho... is there any good GPS software for OSX out there?"

Here Ya Go... http://www.macgpspro.com/index.html


Jim

flyinmac
Jan 4, 2007, 05:17 PM
The Axiotron site worked for me earlier. But, it is down now. I wonder if that means anything important?

http://www.axiotron.com/

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access / on this server.

Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.axiotron.com Port 80

Macula
Jan 4, 2007, 05:24 PM
It makes good sense. I imagine this has all been discussed and agreed with apple.

Win-Win-Win situation. Smart.

Indeed. After all, Apple can always follow its usual pattern: Closely monitor a small innovating company and kill it in a split second if it finds serious commercial potential there. "Killing" in this instance can mean

i) Apple buying OWC and its intellectual property, if it's any worth (as it did with Coverflow) or

ii) Apple utilizing its own touch technologies (see recent patent filings) and thus forcing OWC to obsolescence (as it will do with the ApplePhone).

SiliconAddict
Jan 4, 2007, 05:25 PM
I may have to ax the idea of building a new desktop this Spring. :eek:

sushi
Jan 4, 2007, 05:26 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.
This has happened before with Mac OS 9 and the clones. However, in this case I do not believe that it is a clone concept. Rather I believe it is what has been done already. I forget the company, but you would give them your laptop and they would repackage it into their form.

I imagine that this may be along the same idea.

SiliconAddict
Jan 4, 2007, 05:28 PM
"The built in GPS sounds cool tho... is there any good GPS software for OSX out there?"

Here Ya Go... http://www.macgpspro.com/index.html


Jim

He said GOOD software. Without the POI's and actual maps its a meh solution. Thankfully there is Parallels and Streets and Trips.

mkrishnan
Jan 4, 2007, 05:52 PM
There was actually another company, I think, before this (going back as far as the iMac G4, I think?), that modified Macs to have touch screens. Anyone rememebr the name?

iSee
Jan 4, 2007, 05:55 PM
This TOTALLY kicks ***!

I mean, I don't care for a tablet myself, and I don't know if this particular product is any good, even so. But this is an awesome sign for the health of the Mac market.

macenforcer
Jan 4, 2007, 06:04 PM
I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

My thoughts exactly.

StubbaKat33
Jan 4, 2007, 06:14 PM
So it seems as if OWC is acting as a supplier for Axiotron, or did they help design the product?

puuukeey
Jan 4, 2007, 06:14 PM
I'm rooting for multitouch... PLEEEEEEZE

3CCD
Jan 4, 2007, 06:25 PM
Interesting I guess.

zap2
Jan 4, 2007, 06:30 PM
I'll be watching this with all eyes...if it turns out to be good, and has nice features(support for ACD??) I might pick on up!

iMikeT
Jan 4, 2007, 06:31 PM
I wonder what Apple has to say about this.

miketcool
Jan 4, 2007, 06:34 PM
I've seen Mac tablets on eBay a while ago. They were modded iBooks for 2200 EUR ($2500 US) if I remember right. It was an iBook 12" mainboard with all the innards (HDD, RAM, ports, optical drive) in a new case with an included touch screen. OSX supports touchscreens and has the whole handwriting recognition built in, so there's no real software changes necessary. Inly downside: those things were thicker than an iBook, i.e. too thick for a tablet you want to use.

Apple had a program after Jobs got back and axed the clones. There were at least 6 companies that resold Apple laptops as a way for people with disabilities to communicate and operate computers. I rember two of the companies being located in France and Germany. The machines had touch interfaces and serial ports. Basically they were the old colored iBooks with the screen on the outside of the case loaded with accesability features. I always wondered what happened to them as they recieved a good deal of praise from the ADA as assistive devices.
Seing as clones are dead, and knowing Jobs control on where Mac OS X gets installed, these can only be resold Mac parts or machines with new casings and screens. Otherwise, Apple is allowing their coveted OS to work on non Apple hardware. How many cold days does hell get now?

SMM
Jan 4, 2007, 06:35 PM
As a real estate agent, I currently carry a Fujitsu T4010 to write contracts paperlessly. It is very cool and easy except for the windoze fight. I can email them efficiently to everyone that needs them and to the clients. They are legal as they become a tiff which is essentially a fax. The clients like it as it goes directly to their email account and they can print it if they need to. I can also print a hard copy at the site however I have never been asked.

I also use the tablet to fill out forms and sign them which is cool because it eliminates faxing generations. Marking up something or sketching something is fast and efficient as well. I ould buy a "Tabbook" (my term) in a minute. I currently run my R.E. vertical software in Parallels but have to print to sign so I have the Fujitisu at the ready in a bag in the car.

I too have an immediate need for a good tablet. I am automating my construction field operations. I have experimented with various form factor laptops and tablet is the best choice. Added GPS would be an added bonus.

Xander562
Jan 4, 2007, 06:40 PM
It's all legal...
Imagine someone buying a Corvette, modifying it with a higer horsepower engine and adding a huge spoiler to the back. Then they sell it to a buyer for a higher price.

I believe OWC is purchasing MacBooks from Apple, modifying them, and then selling them for a higher price. It is completely legal. It's similar to what the Outbound computer company did in 1989 when they came out with a Macintosh portable.

Whether or not OWCs Tablet Mac is profitable for them remains to be seen.

-John
That's assuming they're just modifying MacBooks already purchased from Apple. But if it's a new computer that they've designed and produced themselves, and somehow tricked into running OS X, then that is illegal.

Kirkmedia
Jan 4, 2007, 06:48 PM
That's assuming they're just modifying MacBooks already purchased from Apple. But if it's a new computer that they've designed and produced themselves, and somehow tricked into running OS X, then that is illegal.

Of cource they're buying them directly from apple, and modifying them with
apple's blessing.

Phil A.
Jan 4, 2007, 06:54 PM
The profile (http://axiotron.web7.serverlogistics.com/index.php?id=24) of Axiotron's President (Andreas Haas) on their website makes interesting reading (my emphasis):


Mr. Andreas Haas, Axiotron's co-founder, Director, President and CEO, has 18 years of extensive experience in business management, marketing & product management, as well as in hard- & software development. Prior to Axiotron, Mr. Haas co-founded Our World Live, Inc., an Infrastructure Software and Professional Services company and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Haas also held various management positions at Apple Computer in Europe including Apple's Portable product lines, the Newton Systems Group, and Apple Third Party Product Marketing. His last position at Apple's European Headquarters in Paris, France was Manager of the European Product Management for Professional Desktop and Server Systems heading the European Product Management teams for Desktop and Server products.

sushi
Jan 4, 2007, 06:55 PM
But if it's a new computer that they've designed and produced themselves, and somehow tricked into running OS X, then that is illegal.
It's legit. No way would Apple allow them to present at MWSF if it was something other than a legitimate offering.

So basically, two possibilities:

A. They are repackaging existing Apple laptops (iBook, PB, MB or MBP) like another company did before.

B. They have a license from Apple to make them.

emaja
Jan 4, 2007, 06:57 PM
... Apple buying OWC and its intellectual property, if it's any worth...

OWC is a reseller and distributor, not a manufacturer. There isn't any intellectual property to be bought.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 07:13 PM
I LOVE IT!!!

But...

Four things it needs to suceed:

-Price not too high. More than 1.75x is to much I think. I mean I'm willing to pay about 2000 for a Mac Tablet since its my dream to own one.
-Multi button touch screen. They need an on screen keyboard a la Origami so that people dont have to open it up or connect and external keyboard. Keeps it thin and light.
-Bringing me to my third point it has to be thin and light enough that people want to carry. 13.3" is big. It provides plenty of room for writing, yet will it be too heavy for people just not to want to carry it around.
-Finally, if they do end up carrying it everywhere. Will it have a long enough battery. They need to include 3 of 4 of these things to suceed otherwise....

I would like to find out a couple not important thigns though.
How good is the GPS software? What kind of external monitor can you attach? Built in stand? Buttons to rotate screen (really would like that).

mischief
Jan 4, 2007, 07:21 PM
I want a real clone, not a mod :(

Changing the ROM with some PC notebooks is enough to let it install a normal MacMini osX DVD, it can't be long until someone offer's a osX compatible PC's. Right?

Steve-O was rather stung by how badly implemented the whole clone thing was in the 90's so I'm guessing that this was done with Apple's approval.

This could be an early sign of a "One More Thing" involving HP, Dell and IBM.... or mayhap a list of accepted component manufacturers.:cool::eek::D

we'll see....

Aniej
Jan 4, 2007, 07:29 PM
Steve-O was rather stung by how badly implemented the whole clone thing was in the 90's so I'm guessing that this was done with Apple's approval.

This could be an early sign of a "One More Thing" involving HP, Dell and IBM.... or mayhap a list of accepted component manufacturers.:cool::eek::D

we'll see....
can you point to another example of when we have seen an early sign of "one more thing" in the past?

blashphemy
Jan 4, 2007, 07:31 PM
I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

Which makes me wonder whether this is an Apple front: if it works, Apple (as in Cupertino) knows to make a real, official MacPad (my name for a mac tablet :p), and if it fails, Apple just shuts this division down and, the main part, Apple's reputation is NOT tarnished. Because its barely legal, Apple wont try to sue itself.

The thing about the tablet market that u all prob know but I have to say anyways that u should know is that it is a NICHE market. That means VERY few people have tablets. It also doesn't benefit very many people, just people in some industries like medical and such that for the most part already have tablets and Wintel networks in place and are not about to switch. And then theres students, but many students already get along well with a plain notebook or desktop and may be skeptical to paying a premium for a tablet. The only people who this really makes sense for is for graphic artists, where it GREATLY improves productivity, but keep in mind the recent signs that show that Apple is trying to move more into the consumer space and farther (mb a bit) from the pro space. Also, graphic artists NEED high-power graphics, and to put high-performance graphics in a small and light form factor, like 4 pounds or less like the ThinkPad X60 Tablet, which is the best on the market now IMO, at ANY practical screen size is pretty much as far as I know an engineering impossibility. Oh, and did I mention that these tablets have to revert to Core Duo, NOT Core 2 Duo, chips to maintain proper cooling?

This would be a GREAT way for Apple to test the waters on lower-performance tablets without making a public image investment, assuming of course they aren't breaking any laws by doing so.

Just interested: how are they gonna do this? Is this a slate tablet, a convertible with a traditional single hinge in the center or some other new design?

rdrr
Jan 4, 2007, 07:50 PM
Things that it needs to make it a success...

Easy screen rotation. Hopefully they don't assume that you will use it all the time in landscape mode.

Dock station. For when you are back at your office, a place to plug it in to charge and use it like a normal laptop.

Significant battery life!

barnaby
Jan 4, 2007, 07:55 PM
The thing about the tablet market that u all prob know but I have to say anyways that u should know is that it is a NICHE market. That means VERY few people have tablets. It also doesn't benefit very many people, just people in some industries like medical and such that for the most part already have tablets and Wintel networks in place and are not about to switch. And then theres students, but many students already get along well with a plain notebook or desktop and may be skeptical to paying a premium for a tablet. The only people who this really makes sense for is for graphic artists, where it GREATLY improves productivity, but keep in mind the recent signs that show that Apple is trying to move more into the consumer space and farther (mb a bit) from the pro space. Also, graphic artists NEED high-power graphics, and to put high-performance graphics in a small and light form factor, like 4 pounds or less like the ThinkPad X60 Tablet, which is the best on the market now IMO, at ANY practical screen size is pretty much as far as I know an engineering impossibility. Oh, and did I mention that these tablets have to revert to Core Duo, NOT Core 2 Duo, chips to maintain proper cooling?


Graphics artists are more likely to use a tablet and a desktop. A laptop is not ideal for heavy graphics work. Maybe some niche graphics designers.

I don't understand why they'd need to revert to core duo. They have C2D chips that operate at lower wattage than CD's.

I can't see Apple going into this market unless they have some way of doing it better than it's being done now. You are right that it's a niche market. For anyone outside of that niche, it's a poor novelty at best with a premium price tag. Unless you regularly need to use a laptop standing, save your money.

mischief
Jan 4, 2007, 08:11 PM
can you point to another example of when we have seen an early sign of "one more thing" in the past?

iMac G4, Mirror Drive Door G4, There was an iPod in there somewhere as well but I unremember. There've been quite a number of times where an indirect pointer has tipped Apple's hand a few days early, my examples are instances where specs or pics were leaked early. the iMac G4 was 12 hours early due to a Time Magazine Canada website error.

G3blues
Jan 4, 2007, 08:21 PM
If they were smart they would have just leaked an elevator shot of the modbook today and let the rumors swirl of this being the "one more thing". Then tomorrow, release a clearer picture with some specs and let the anticipation build. After the keynote with no iTablet, they would then unveil the modbook. I think this would create maximum buzz for what feel is a so-so product

dongmin
Jan 4, 2007, 08:34 PM
I LOVE IT!!!

But...

Four things it needs to suceed:

-Price not too high. More than 1.75x is to much I think. I mean I'm willing to pay about 2000 for a Mac Tablet since its my dream to own one.
-Multi button touch screen. They need an on screen keyboard a la Origami so that people dont have to open it up or connect and external keyboard. Keeps it thin and light.
-Bringing me to my third point it has to be thin and light enough that people want to carry. 13.3" is big. It provides plenty of room for writing, yet will it be too heavy for people just not to want to carry it around.
-Finally, if they do end up carrying it everywhere. Will it have a long enough battery. They need to include 3 of 4 of these things to suceed otherwise....

I would like to find out a couple not important thigns though.
How good is the GPS software? What kind of external monitor can you attach? Built in stand? Buttons to rotate screen (really would like that).
1. If it's under $2000, I'd be surprised. It sounds like a pretty heavy mod job, meaning LOTS of labor. Plus, the new casing, the extra hardware they're putting in it, AND whatever extra software to get the whole touch-screen to be useful.

2. A basic on-screen keyboard shouldn't be that hard to implement, but an Origami-style dynamic keyboard? That's probably asking a bit too much of a small after-market company.

3. It's a modded MacBook (with iSight). So a 13.3" screen seems logical. I imagine the overall width and depth to be the same as the MacBook, but probably another 1/2" in thickness.

4. Against, they're most likely to keep as much of the stock Apple parts as possible, including the battery. You can probably get a higher capacity battery, but only if you pay more.

freeny
Jan 4, 2007, 08:39 PM
Its all just smoke and mirrors friends.;)

This could end up being a fun Macworld after all.

Hmmmm, I wonder what they are trying to distract us from......?:cool:;)

Billy Boo Bob
Jan 4, 2007, 08:42 PM
I'd snatch one of these up in a minute... Well, I would if I had any money... Right now I couldn't even buy an iPod Shuffle.

I know some people who work in the field, too, that would love this thing. Niche, maybe... Sell enough to make it worth it, maybe.

Leareth
Jan 4, 2007, 08:42 PM
How come this company is not on the Macworld Exhibitors list?

pdpfilms
Jan 4, 2007, 08:55 PM
For those who haven't seen the picture:

http://axiotron.web7.serverlogistics.com/uploads/pics/Home_20070104_02.jpg

And the full story from the website:

January 04, 2007
El Segundo, CA - Solution hardware manufacturer Axiotron, Inc. and technology solutions provider Other World Computing (OWC) today announced that they will be unveiling the ModBook™, the first ever Mac® tablet computer solution, on January 9th, at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. After an invitation-only press showcase, the Axiotron ModBook will be unveiled to the general public at 2:30 PM at the Other World Computing Booth #S2218.
The ModBook is a high-end slate-style notebook computer solution, which was designed in California by Axiotron’s team of German and American engineers and will be available in the U.S. through an exclusive joint-venture arrangement between Axiotron and Other World Computing. Following a demonstration by Axiotron engineers and OWC product specialists, consumers will be able to experience hands-on trials of the Axiotron ModBook at the Other World Computing Macworld booth, #S2218.
The Axiotron ModBook features WACOM Penabled® hardware for true pen input and is fully compatible with Apple's Inkwell, a Mac OS X Tiger feature that provides system level handwriting and gesture recognition to all Mac applications. Drawing and writing directly on the screen provides for a uniquely intuitive user experience and its slim, slate-style form factor makes the ModBook the ultimate companion for mobile users, artists, professionals and students.
The ModBook is also the only portable Mac solution that features an optional built-in Global Positioning System (GPS). The Axiotron ModBook GPS Module was developed in cooperation with GlobalSat Technologies Corporation utilizing the industry leading SiRFstar™ III chipset for shorter first location fix times and improved tracking capabilities.
Designed by Axiotron, the ModBook will be available in the US exclusively through Other World Computing. Visit www.MacSales.com or call (800) 275-4576.

brepublican
Jan 4, 2007, 08:57 PM
Interesting I guess.

Very. Lets hope this prods Apple into the right direction.

jnadke
Jan 4, 2007, 09:26 PM
Yes, this is a true tablet. http://www.thetabletmac.com used to have some 3D drawings of a tablet on their site, from a company answering their petition. I'd imagine this is that company.

Supposedly it will have Apple's blessing (and I'd imagine logo), as TheTabletMac.com said. It's supposed to have keyboard functionality too.

I believe this will live up to everyone's expectations, and more.

The screen is supposed to be generous, and it's supposed to be thin like the MBPs.

matticus008
Jan 4, 2007, 09:32 PM
OWC is a reseller and distributor, not a manufacturer. There isn't any intellectual property to be bought.
Sure there is. The design and integration of the mod is protected intellectual property, as is any proprietary hardware or software used to further enhance the product. If this company's modded MacBooks really got it right, then Apple would be obliged to purchase the design. If Apple didn't use any of the specifically protected elements, but just offered a tablet of their own design, then they'd simply starve sales of the Axiotron.

Of cource they're buying them directly from apple, and modifying them with
apple's blessing.
They don't need Apple's blessing one way or the other. Unlike intangible art, manufactured goods may be modified by the purchaser however s/he sees fit, and may sell the end result free of worry.

The only issue is if the resultant product becomes so popular that it strains supplies, in which case they'd have to negotiate a bulk order deal (if they don't already have one).

jnadke
Jan 4, 2007, 09:38 PM
From TheTabletMac.com (June 2005):

Link (http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:pJGI44Va__sJ:www.thetabletmac.com/content/view/47/+Mac+Tablet+Petition&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=5&client=firefox-a)

Today we finally worked out the following FAQ and I received the picture above to be posted along with the FAQ.

Q: Will you be selling a Mac Tablet?
A: The final decision has not been made.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle for a positive decision?
A: The potential market size.

Q: How do you determine the potential market size?
A: Conventional market research and analysis.

Q: How does our online petition factor into this market research?
A: The survey data of your online petition is a valuable information source, however we'd like to see a higher number of signatures.

Q: How many signatures would be needed to convince you to produce a Mac Tablet?
A: Although your online petition is important to us, it is not the only factor weighting into our decision. But of course, the higher the number the more convincing the case.

Q: Can you describe the picture you provided us?
A: The picture shows an exploded view of some key components of the "1812B" project.

Q: What is "1812B"?
A: That is the internal code name for the pictured Mac Tablet development project.

Q: What does "1812B" mean?
A: The code name "1812B" is based on the name of John Crichton's pet DRD in the TV Series "Farscape".

Q: Judging from the picture, "1812B" appears to be a slate-style Tablet computer?
A: That is correct.

Q: What about the petition underwriters, that prefer a convertible-style Tablet computer (with built-in keyboard)?
A: "1812B" has features not visible in the picture that will satisfy their needs, too.

Q: Is this a rendering of the potentially final product?
A: No, obviously we would want to keep some surprises under wraps.

Q: Can you give us additional technical specifications about "1812B"?
A: Not at this time.

Q: With you not being Apple, how would you be producing a Mac Tablet anyways?
A: We have worked out a business case that would allow us to provide interested customers with Mac Tablet computers.

Q: Would you elaborate on that?
A: Not at this time.

Q: Why do you let me publish this information now?
A: We wanted to let you and the underwriters of your petition know that they are having an impact.

Q: What can we do to help get Mac Tablets into stores?
A: Although the survey was and continues to be a valuable information source, at this point we'd like to see a higher number of signatures.

The above FAQ sums up all information I am allowed to share at this point (I had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement), so please don't send me emails with additional questions. As soon as I have more news to share, I will post them here immediately.

NOTE: Below image was provided by "Company X", not TheTabletMac

pdpfilms
Jan 4, 2007, 09:40 PM
From TheTabletMac.com:



See the attached image

wtf? link?

iMeowbot
Jan 4, 2007, 09:56 PM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?
As others mentioned, it's nothing all that new, and it's even happened fairly recently (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58831) with the Elo iMac mods.

Currently on the market is also the Crosley CR12-DI (http://www.crosleyradio.com/prods/cr12-di.html) jukebox, which is essentially a Mac mini attached to a touch display.

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.
These are computers Apple made, with case mods and some extra hardware added. Axiotron was started by a former Apple mangler, who (we'd hope) would know who to call to make sure the people at Apple are okay with this.
How come this company is not on the Macworld Exhibitors list?
Right here (http://www.macworldexpo.com/live/20/events/20SFO07A/exposition/exhibitorinfo//QMONYA04Q4YD). It's a joint venture between OWC and Axiotron, the booth is registered to OWC.

benfilan
Jan 4, 2007, 10:09 PM
what?? ....WHAT? so this is a piece of hardware, not sold buy apple, but branded as apple merchandise? is that not highly illegal? and why would Apple allow that? its kinda....disgusting.:mad:

EDIT:ok, i just read ALL of the replies, and i get it now. it still seems a little bit.....uncomfortable.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 10:19 PM
what?? ....WHAT? so this is a piece of hardware, not sold buy apple, but branded as apple merchandise? is that not highly illegal? and why would Apple allow that? its kinda....disgusting.:mad:

It never says that its an Apple. It just says it runs OS X.

jnadke
Jan 4, 2007, 10:23 PM
It never says that its an Apple. It just says it runs OS X.

Exactly.

I'd imagine it'll carry the Axiontech name. Dunno if Apple would let them use their logo. At best I suppose they could get Apple to sell it.

It sounds like they have a licensing agreement, so I'm all for it.

Chris CA
Jan 4, 2007, 10:26 PM
It's legit. No way would Apple allow them to present at MWSF if it was something other than a legitimate offering.
It's not up to Apple to allow or not allow anything.
It is not an Apple event. It is a MacWorld event

corywoolf
Jan 4, 2007, 10:26 PM
How is this any different from the Saline Mustang concept? A small company in California buys cars from Ford, modifies them and resells them as "Saline Mustangs". I think Apple will actually be very supportive because it shows the creativity and drive of Mac users. If they for some reason get upset, they are just being a poor sport. Apple couldn't deliver a tablet in a timely manor, so someone else went out and did it on their own. I give props to OWC or whomever is making these. :p

freeny
Jan 4, 2007, 10:26 PM
so this is a company thinking about maybe possibly perhaps if enough people like the idea, they will modify a macbook to do this for a whole bunch of money?

next story please....:rolleyes:

Chris CA
Jan 4, 2007, 10:28 PM
Sure there is. The design and integration of the mod is protected intellectual property, as is any proprietary hardware or software used to further enhance the product. If this company's modded MacBooks really got it right, then Apple would be obliged to purchase the design. If Apple didn't use any of the specifically protected elements, but just offered a tablet of their own design, then they'd simply starve sales of the Axiotron.


They don't need Apple's blessing one way or the other. Unlike intangible art, manufactured goods may be modified by the purchaser however s/he sees fit, and may sell the end result free of worry.

The only issue is if the resultant product becomes so popular that it strains supplies, in which case they'd have to negotiate a bulk order deal (if they don't already have one).


Look at Colorwarepc.com.
They sell new modded iPod and iMacs. Exact same deal as the tablet.

iMeowbot
Jan 4, 2007, 10:30 PM
so this is a company thinking about maybe possibly perhaps if enough people like the idea, they will modify a macbook to do this?
They say that they will have hands-on demos at MWSF, so they must have some working examples already built. The technology isn't exactly new or exotic, it's Wacom hardware.

freeny
Jan 4, 2007, 10:35 PM
They say that they will have hands-on demos at MWSF, so they must have some working examples already built. The technology isn't exactly new or exotic, it's Wacom hardware.

I guess people figured they were tired of waiting for apple to do this so they went ahead and made their own. funny.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 10:55 PM
so this is a company thinking about maybe possibly perhaps if enough people like the idea, they will modify a macbook to do this for a whole bunch of money?

next story please....:rolleyes:

no... they are releasing a tablet that they have produced. No maybe possible perhaps. 9th we are going to find out just how nice of a package it really is and for what price.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 11:00 PM
They say that they will have hands-on demos at MWSF, so they must have some working examples already built. The technology isn't exactly new or exotic, it's Wacom hardware.
Actually it looks like a similar product from another manufacturer. However these guys are Windows. http://www.tabletkiosk.com/tkstore/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=17&idproduct=68

Its very close in design.

jnadke
Jan 4, 2007, 11:04 PM
Well, from the pictures, we can assume two things:

1. It has a slot-loading DVD drive.

2. It has a 12" screen, probably 1440x900 resolution. Look at the Axiotron veiled pic. Compare it to the 13.3" MacBook screen.

iMeowbot
Jan 4, 2007, 11:11 PM
Here (http://fabiennemaurer.com/flo/tablet/index.html) is a home-made version of the same thing, it might help people to understand just what's being sold here. The main difference in a commercial product would be a proper case.

ageis
Jan 4, 2007, 11:11 PM
Looking from the veiled image on Axiotron's site, it looks like a 4x3 aspect ratio? I've been dying for years for a tablet that runs OS X. If this thing is 16:9, they'd have me buying one at the first possible chance, regardless of price.

steelfist
Jan 4, 2007, 11:11 PM
this is funny, especially from reading the previous macrumors article talking about steve saying that tablet pcs don't work.

freeny
Jan 4, 2007, 11:12 PM
no... they are releasing a tablet that they have produced. No maybe possible perhaps.

it clearly says this-

Q: Will you be selling a Mac Tablet?
A: The final decision has not been made.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle for a positive decision?
A: The potential market size.

So yes, they may possibly maybe perhaps make it if enough people like the idea:rolleyes:

A few working prototypes at macworld does not mean "releasing a tablet they have produced"
They are simply testing the waters.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 11:12 PM
Well, from the pictures, we can assume two things:

1. It has a slot-loading DVD drive.

2. It has a 12" screen, probably 1440x900 resolution. Look at the Axiotron veiled pic. Compare it to the 13.3" MacBook screen.
The screen is at an angle so it would be hard to get a very accurate eyeing of the exact length since your eyes can decieve. Also, the iBook 12" has its power input right above the CD slot. The picture shows no power over the CD slot which means that it has to be a Macbook since its the only laptop that was created with just the slot on that one side.

Chef Medeski
Jan 4, 2007, 11:16 PM
it clearly says this-

Q: Will you be selling a Mac Tablet?
A: The final decision has not been made.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle for a positive decision?
A: The potential market size.

So yes, they may possibly maybe perhaps make it if enough people like the idea:rolleyes:

A few working prototypes at macworld does not mean "releasing a tablet they have produced"
They are simply testing the waters.

Thats from the website : The Tablet Mac. A site that lobbied and even partially designed a tablet years ago.

This product is created by a different company and actually is going to be going on sale on the 9th as it says on their website. They have developed a product, Tablet Mac is some bygone website that merely links to the modern product cause they have nothing else to show.

iMeowbot
Jan 4, 2007, 11:17 PM
The FAQ that says "we're not sure if we'll make this" is dated June 2005. Obviously they've since decided to go ahead.

Wayback Machine link (http://web.archive.org/web/20051212174038/www.thetabletmac.com/content/view/47/45/)

freeny
Jan 4, 2007, 11:19 PM
Thats from the website : The Tablet Mac. A site that lobbied and even partially designed a tablet years ago.

This product is created by a different company and actually is going to be going on sale on the 9th as it says on their website. They have developed a product, Tablet Mac is some bygone website that merely links to the modern product cause they have nothing else to show.

The FAQ that says "we're not sure if we'll make this" is dated June 2005. Obviously they've since decided to go ahead.

I stand corrected.

wmmk
Jan 4, 2007, 11:31 PM
as others have said, this is just like colorware. as a matter of fact, I doubt that apple has any oppositions to this. why? I have a small inkling that they're behind this...

JurgenWigg
Jan 4, 2007, 11:32 PM
Guys, I'm pretty sure there's nothing illegal about this, it's just a mod, just like making the apple on the back of the screen classic or red or whatever, just a bit more extensive. They're not making a tablet, they're converting a macbook into one. bit more work than it's worth i'd think.

crawdad62
Jan 4, 2007, 11:37 PM
How is this any different from the Saline Mustang concept? A small company in California buys cars from Ford, modifies them and resells them as "Saline Mustangs". I think Apple will actually be very supportive because it shows the creativity and drive of Mac users. If they for some reason get upset, they are just being a poor sport. Apple couldn't deliver a tablet in a timely manor, so someone else went out and did it on their own. I give props to OWC or whomever is making these. :p

Exactly. Or AMG and Mercedes. Or a plethora of other manufacturers that take existing products and modify them to their own specifications.

I lightly scanned through most of these post and one stated something to the effect that "Well does Colorware void Apple's warranty" which I assume means coloring the exterior is a lot less "damaging" then completely redoing the whole MacBook (or whatever they use). Who cares? Will OWC offer a warranty? That's the only thing that should matter if you're interested in one.

I think it's a neat idea. I'm not particularly interested in buying one but I certainly like the spirit of the project. Good luck OWC/ Axiotron!

BWhaler
Jan 4, 2007, 11:48 PM
I bet they don't sell 1,000 of them. Hell, maybe 500 is a better number.

There is a reason why Apple is not doing a tablet. And a reason why Microsoft can't give theirs away.

They should know better than to listen to the Mac community on this one. Everyone wants one, but nobody needs one, and surely no one is going to drop the 2K for it.

I'll take any and all bets that this product is toast within 12 months.

Chef Medeski
Jan 5, 2007, 12:17 AM
I bet they don't sell 1,000 of them. Hell, maybe 500 is a better number.

There is a reason why Apple is not doing a tablet. And a reason why Microsoft can't give theirs away.

They should know better than to listen to the Mac community on this one. Everyone wants one, but nobody needs one, and surely no one is going to drop the 2K for it.

I'll take any and all bets that this product is toast within 12 months.
For 2k, I'll take on. And selling 500 I think is a sucess. I mean thats a HUGE number for a third party modifer. To acheive those numbers of no name status is actually very good. Yes, its goin be hard to sell a lot, but who cares. They know there are consumers, maybe not many, and they are just bringing them what they want. Nothing wrong with that. Its great!

wmmk
Jan 5, 2007, 12:32 AM
Exactly. Or AMG and Mercedes. Or a plethora of other manufacturers that take existing products and modify them to their own specifications.

I lightly scanned through most of these post and one stated something to the effect that "Well does Colorware void Apple's warranty" which I assume means coloring the exterior is a lot less "damaging" then completely redoing the whole MacBook (or whatever they use). Who cares? Will OWC offer a warranty? That's the only thing that should matter if you're interested in one.

I think it's a neat idea. I'm not particularly interested in buying one but I certainly like the spirit of the project. Good luck OWC/ Axiotron!
not that I really care, but AMG and mercedes is different because mercedes puts out AMG cars. AMG is simply a marketing term used by MB meaning a larger engine and 'sportier' components are used.

Chef Medeski
Jan 5, 2007, 12:37 AM
not that I really care, but AMG and mercedes is different because mercedes puts out AMG cars. AMG is simply a marketing term used by MB meaning a larger engine and 'sportier' components are used.

AMG used to be an independent modifier of Mercedes like Brabus nowadays. It was the Saleen of Mercedes. Yet it was acquired a couple years back by Mercedes since it was suh a proliferant modifier. Nowadays yes its just another Mercedes.

solvs
Jan 5, 2007, 12:38 AM
I bet they don't sell 1,000 of them. Hell, maybe 500 is a better number.
Which would be great for them. It's a niche product, and they've said as much. I'm guessing they'll have a back order.

Everyone wants one, but nobody needs one, and surely no one is going to drop the 2K for it.
If it's only 2k, it'll sell fine. They aren't expecting Dell numbers here. They aren't even expecting Apple cube numbers.

I heard about something laptop related from OWC last week from the e-mail they send, but didn't think it would be this. I had planned on being at their presentation, but now I'm worried I won't be able to get in. Was hoping for a mini laptop from Apple, but this might do if it doesn't suck and doesn't cost too much.

There will be a warranty, and I believe they will also offer extended warranties.

MDMac
Jan 5, 2007, 01:00 AM
I really don't see a need for a tablet mac (or any tablet), personally. My needs have changed quite a bit over the past few years and I've been able to get along fine by getting a smart phone, a laptop, etc. There really isn't much "uncharted territory" that other widely-used devices haven't already claimed their own.:cool:

p0intblank
Jan 5, 2007, 01:18 AM
I didn't even know it was possible for a 3rd party to do this... figures I've been waiting for a Mac tablet and then this happens. I can't be excited unless it's officially released by Apple. :(

jnadke
Jan 5, 2007, 01:18 AM
Keep in mind that tablet PCs failed because:

1. Price: Notebooks cost thousands of dollars less than their tablet PC counterparts.

2. The non-convertible tablet PCs are a niche market. Convertible tablet PCs are bulky. Basically nothing lines up with their target market (the low-end models are too expensive for the cheap crowd, and are too ugly for the expensive crowd, and the expensive tablet pcs are lacking features such as external graphics).

This thing won't have to deal with the same fate, with the Apple markup and all.

jnadke
Jan 5, 2007, 01:21 AM
The screen is at an angle so it would be hard to get a very accurate eyeing of the exact length since your eyes can decieve. Also, the iBook 12" has its power input right above the CD slot. The picture shows no power over the CD slot which means that it has to be a Macbook since its the only laptop that was created with just the slot on that one side.

True, it does look like it's 4:3, which can be misleading.

I hope it'd be widescreen, that'd be great.

dAlen
Jan 5, 2007, 01:37 AM
Interesting how Steve and people think that a Mac tablet wouldnt work.
Not sure I see the logic, and heres why.

Most people are creatives...the creatives who are artist using Wacoms could ditch them and draw on screen. That is cool.

And as for who wants to write and not type...if its good recognition, some people would benefit from writing.

But again, if done properly, it could do away with a need for a wacom...sounds good to me.

Peace

dAlen

- notice: Aircraft grade magnesium alloy for all terrain use (looks like its not just a reassembly of a macbook, also look at the "blackness" and "rim" of the tablet behind the veil...it does not resemble the macbook even though the veil (of course you see the screen is a difference, but as I mentioend color, and thickness of rim seems to be noticeable to.)

- note: on their (axitron) press release it says that it is for America...once again Europe left out...and Hungary for sure, as we dont even have an "official" apple store.

technicolor
Jan 5, 2007, 01:48 AM
Interesting how Steve and people think that a Mac tablet wouldnt work.
Not sure I see the logic, and heres why.

Most people are creatives...the creatives who are artist using Wacoms could ditch them and draw on screen. That is cool.

)

NOT!

A tablet laptop probably wont pack the resources a regular laptop, and definitely cant compete with a desktop. All that price comes from the modification of the laptop to be tablet like, which means it would be EVEN MORE expensive to be tablet like and extremely powerful. A tablet laptop is not a good investment for people who will be using it for REAL creative busineses, at least not those on any kind of budget. You cannot future proof yourself, which would mean constant costly upgrades...and most creative firms are not constantly upgrading anyway, its not a part of the business model. A wacom is much easier to upgrade and cheaper.

jhande
Jan 5, 2007, 01:51 AM
Interesting how Steve and people think that a Mac tablet wouldnt work.
Not sure I see the logic, and heres why.

Most people are creatives...the creatives who are artist using Wacoms could ditch them and draw on screen. That is cool.

And as for who wants to write and not type...if its good recognition, some people would benefit from writing.

But again, if done properly, it could do away with a need for a wacom...sounds good to me.


As a Wacom tablet user I fully agree. I would plonk money down in an instant. I think that the proliferation (anyone have real sales/unit figures?) and dominance of Wacom argues for a pent up demand for real tablets that is viable now.

dextertangocci
Jan 5, 2007, 02:30 AM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia6230/2.0 (05.24) Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

I've never seen anyone using a tablet. They can't be that popular. Who would want to handwrite documents anyway?

dAlen
Jan 5, 2007, 02:32 AM
Graphics artists are more likely to use a tablet and a desktop. A laptop is not ideal for heavy graphics work. Maybe some niche graphics designers.

Hmmm...actually wrong.
In the professional world we have more than just one computer. :)
Your case is well put for individuals over businesses perhaps...to some degree...

Think of it this way...one power house rendering machine (or more) which is a desktop.

And for graphics a macbook works just nice.
Maya, (3D), Final Cut offline, (Video), ProTools Mbox (audio), yes...Im a multimedia freak and actually an excutive producer.

So a tablet, notice what Im saying, built for the artist in mind, would sell like hotcakes. There seems to be a lot of people with a "lack of vision" who claim to be creatives??? This surprises me actually.

Peace

dAlen

- I do want to add one thing...I totally hate seeing the pointer it should only be cross-hair, and even then, I think it should be nothing but your pin. You dont have any pointer when you put your pin on paper, so why have it on the notebook...you know where your at...I say this because the LAG of the cursor to the speed of my pen is extremley distracting, and a reason I know some artist do not use the wacom, even though they would prefer a more natural way to do art digitally.

so the key is the innovation put into it. And again, apple would want to do it right...doubt a 3rd party would look into it.

But for the Maya 3D artist using ARtisan to sculpt, and Painter, Photoshop, etc...there is a whole creative crowd awating for it. And again, you could edit video and audio as easy...its just on screen. Whats the issue besides writing, and if that is implemented with good character recognition, a lot faster than switching to typing mode...and some people, bless there souls, still type with two fingers...they would appreciate this.

dAlen
Jan 5, 2007, 02:34 AM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia6230/2.0 (05.24) Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

I've never seen anyone using a tablet. They can't be that popular. Who would want to handwrite documents anyway?

Its about brushes...for the artist. :)
And I wouldnt mind writing and even editing video with a pen.
Again, I might be odd, as I liked the track ball over the mouse back in the days. :-)

Peace

dAlen

Xeem
Jan 5, 2007, 02:39 AM
A lot of interesting speculation here, but at least we only have to wait four more days. As some here have already said, I think it is a win-win situation for Apple because they essentially get to test the waters of the tablet market for free. I'm sure it won't be a very accurate test, but the only one putting it on the line here is OWC (which I applaud them for), so this could really pave the way for an official Apple tablet down the road.

iGuess
Jan 5, 2007, 02:40 AM
Seriously...who cares if you don't see a need for a tablet!? It's quite obvious that the number of who do (at least on MR) outweigh those who do not. Either way it's irrelevant if you can't find a use for it. You should be bunched up with the group of engineers that have been facing the problem. Neither of you are looking at the problem for what it is.

TabletPC's have failed because the people behind designing them have been focusing on building a laptop that you can write on. It's an entirely different device. It uses different input methods (more natural methods as a matter of fact). The question should be what and how can this device best be used?

There are many benifits to a tablet (slate or otherwise) that society as a whole could take advantage of. Biometric digital signatures (the wave of the future). As more and more people become accoustomed to conducting business online there will be a greater need to capture data that proves they agreed to the transaction. Paper is technology of past millennias. We as a society are wasting too many resources as it is. Reading an eBook would be much more comfortable and convinient in a tablet form machine as opposed to a desktop/laptop. Note taking is simple on tablets due to handwriting recognition. Watching/listening to media is more practical on a tablet than a laptop. There are millions of possibilities I haven't mentioned or thought of for that matter.

A tablet as I envision it is a compact, lightweight device with a long batter life that compliments life on the go. Not a device that replaces a desktop. A device that is instantly available and has access to all the resources I might need. It doesn't haven't carry my entire set of documents, music, movies and what not. It just has to let me get my job done, communicate quickly and most importantly not interfere with my life. It must compliment the way I work "naturally".

The reason I admire Apple isn't due to their ability to innovate. I feel personally that Apple has been successful not because they create products the world has never seen but because they take time to understand how those products fit into peoples lives (hence the "i" moniker on most of their products).

The iPod wasn't successful because it was the first MP3/music player. In fact they were very late to that game. The iPod worked because they understood how people used the device and therefor gave it a simple interface. They made it easy to get what they wanted ("music") and put that on a device that they could carry with them. A device that meant they didn't have to carry a large collection of CD's. A device that was intuitive, responsive and accessable. They defined how people would use the device and designed it to fit into that proposed use in a intuitive and unintrusive manner.

I feel they could do the same for a tablet. I look forward to seeing it become a product that Apple offers and how they expect people to use such a device. Judging from the veiled picture of the ModBook it still looks like it'll be a thick device that tries to be everything at once.

We'll all see Tuesday what comes from Apple and OWC. It'll be an interesting day none the less. To all the neysayers I say "think different", to the rest I understand your desire to see such a product come from Apple.

MacQuest
Jan 5, 2007, 02:43 AM
I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

You know, that's exactly what I was thinking. Seriously.

OWC is a trusted supplier of Apple parts and products, why not let someone else test the waters first before Apple dives in? ... if the waters are warm enough to dive in of course.

If it sinks, a 3rd party product sinks. Not an Apple product.

dAlen
Jan 5, 2007, 02:51 AM
Here is a link from the BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6227455.stm ...there is a start up company who will make plastic electronic cirucuits.

As the one guy on the BBC News pointed out, you could put it in your kids teddy bear to tell them to do their homework, (poor kids), and in your clothes to tell you if you stink. :) (His words, seriously)

Anyway...thinner form factor tablets? The future is here...it constantly changing by leaps and bounds...no constraints...it may only frustrate if you think that you hav the latest and greatest finally...to find out its oudated in 3 months. :D

My question about the tablet and Wacom Cintiq for that matter is this...
Why can you not turn off the cursor that follows the pen??? Your drawing on screen, why do you need a "pointer" to show you where you are at, when it LAGS anyway causing a distraction...This distraction is why I WILL NOT buy either, as my pin is showing me where Im at, I dont need the extra.
- no one has thought of it this way, as actually interacting with the screen is new and old tech gets left in...gotta think out the box. Again, that pointer lag is irritating and i will not purchase due to that, especially with the price of the Cintiq. :-) , hear that Wacom. :-)

Peace

dAlen

Macnoviz
Jan 5, 2007, 03:22 AM
It's like DIY month.

first the iPhone is released, and now a Mac tablet.:D

Aniej
Jan 5, 2007, 04:01 AM
Yes, this is a true tablet. http://www.thetabletmac.com used to have some 3D drawings of a tablet on their site, from a company answering their petition. I'd imagine this is that company.

Supposedly it will have Apple's blessing (and I'd imagine logo), as TheTabletMac.com said. It's supposed to have keyboard functionality too.

I believe this will live up to everyone's expectations, and more.

The screen is supposed to be generous, and it's supposed to be thin like the MBPs.
Great find for a Jan Newbie, well done!

a456
Jan 5, 2007, 04:25 AM
This is a really interesting way forward for the Mac. It means that Apple don't have to do all the variants but companies can take the guts of what is already there and present it to the market in minority form factors that some people might want or just think are cool and so will fork out money for. It might just work, but having said that I wouldn't fork out hard earned cash to a company that may be here today and gone tomorrow because the support might just vanish.

photomaniac
Jan 5, 2007, 04:26 AM
I guess Apple can test market a tablet for free now. HA! :p

exactly what I was thinking! (you know apple is probably on the fence with releasing one of their own... so this is a perfect opportunity for them to see how well it holds up in the market) Although I believe it won't be true market research numbers due to that it isn't totally made from Apple -- that will probably make a bunch of people not wanting to buy it (even though it may well be a very good designed and tested product)

japanime
Jan 5, 2007, 05:19 AM
Because they are apparently being made from MacBooks, I wonder if these tablets will suffer from the same flickering-screen problems that have plagued the MacBooks themselves.

Chef Medeski
Jan 5, 2007, 06:00 AM
True, it does look like it's 4:3, which can be misleading.

I hope it'd be widescreen, that'd be great.

Its a Macbook screen. So its widescreen.

retrophonic
Jan 5, 2007, 06:00 AM
Axiotron is not the only company selling modded macs. GVS9000 has been selling modded mac workstations for years.

http://www.gvs9000.com/workstations.html

redAPPLE
Jan 5, 2007, 06:47 AM
[SIZE=1]Who would want to handwrite documents anyway?

those who can't type.

jhande
Jan 5, 2007, 07:41 AM
I remember trying out a GO tablet in the early nineties, running Penpoint OS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenPoint_OS). It blew me away at the time, and made me want a tablet ever since. PenPoint was designed for the pen, and it was extremely intuitive (and clean) to use.

I have a hard time seeing a vanilla+Ink OS X doing much for the experience.

Have a look at how many times during the day your fingers use the keyboard. The HIG are completely different wrt tablets as a general computer.

Having said that, I'd buy one the second they come out, since I've discarded the mouse for the pen anyway :) .

As far as taking notes on a tablet, well... I once wrote a 2,300 word article on my Palm, and the experience wasn't as bad as I thought, although the writing area was far too cramped for that amount of work.

If Apple releases a tablet (please), then the interface better have some radical changes -- especially in the shortcuts/gestures area. Having to hunt for a menu everytime you do anything with a pen is a pain.

Just my $.02.

failsafe1
Jan 5, 2007, 07:51 AM
Sounds sorta horrific or creepy. Sorta of the moment in a horror film where the heroes go what have they done? Tampering with things outside the realm of man.:eek:

peharri
Jan 5, 2007, 08:31 AM
They buy a Macbook and mod it to a Tablet at twice the price, thats all.

Before anyone thinks this isn't without precedent, the first Mac "laptops" were actually from third parties who'd buy a Mac Plus, gut it for parts (including the ROM), rebuild it in luggable form, and sell the result. Apple got its bite, the user got a laptop, everyone was happy.

I can't see Apple being keen on shutting this one down. It's not going to undercut them, and it'll allow them to enter a niche market without any investment on their part, using, effectively, their own products.

BTW, there's another way someone could build something like this, and in some ways it'd be cooler. Create a Wifi-based tablet that acts as little more than a console to an external computer, and give the Mac suitable drivers so it treats the tablet as its display and pointing device. Power consumption should be lower than for a full-blown laptop (and the real Mac can be plugged into the wall), and the device should be a lot cheaper.

mus0r
Jan 5, 2007, 09:31 AM
Let's also not forget that Apple's likely getting licensing money from both parties. They have patents for a tablet Mac, and all. I would think they'd need to pay for a license for the OS, too, if Apple can argue that it's no longer Mac hardware.

I believe that Apple knew, and approved this product. They have lots to gain and little to lose.

fblack
Jan 5, 2007, 09:57 AM
I really don't see a need for a tablet mac (or any tablet), personally. My needs have changed quite a bit over the past few years and I've been able to get along fine by getting a smart phone, a laptop, etc. There really isn't much "uncharted territory" that other widely-used devices haven't already claimed their own.:cool:

I bet they don't sell 1,000 of them. Hell, maybe 500 is a better number.

There is a reason why Apple is not doing a tablet. And a reason why Microsoft can't give theirs away.

They should know better than to listen to the Mac community on this one. Everyone wants one, but nobody needs one, and surely no one is going to drop the 2K for it.

I'll take any and all bets that this product is toast within 12 months.

I'm a traditional fine artist that does some digital stuff. Writing and drawing are more natural to me than keyboarding and mousing. I've owned Wacom tablets, but its clumsy to take a tablet and a laptop into the outdoors to work. I take quite a few notes and do alot of sketching. It would be nice if I could do both directly into a tablet, instead of scanning stuff. It would be one less step in my process. It would also take up less space, that's an advantage of digital over traditional art. A successful convergence of a tablet and laptop would make me very happy. I would definitely be interested in one.

However, the main obstacles I've seen is not the hardware--though the PC versions tend to be horribly underpowered. The software out there imho does not do a great job of mimicking traditional art skills. Its a completely different skill set. I run an older version of illustrator and you cant imagine how often I curse its clunkiness. So I think that part of the success of a tablet has to do with software, ease of use, and the right audience. Is there enough software out there (not just design and art) that can take advantage of the tablets unique input method? Will it be easy to use, and will it be marketed correctly to the right audience? I think there are other traditional artists who would buy into a tablet if these issues were addressed and if the hardware was powerful enough to run somethings like photoshop, etc.

Otherwise yes, this could be toast in 12 months.

fixyourthinking
Jan 5, 2007, 10:01 AM
One interesting note:

OWC/Axiotron are NOT authorized Apple Resellers or Apple Value Added Resellers:

http://eshop.macsales.com/Service/index.cfm?page=about.html

http://axiotron.web7.serverlogistics.com/index.php?id=7

Some posts have mentioned ColorWare which IS an authorized Apple VAR

guzhogi
Jan 5, 2007, 10:07 AM
To all those people who are saying tablets aren't important: WHO CARES? Just b/c you don't have a need for one doesn't mean other people don't. You probably don't need a scalpal, but I don't you hear anyone saying scalpals shouldn't be made. You can't assume everybody is exactly like you and uses and likes everything you do and doesn't use everything you don't.

twoodcc
Jan 5, 2007, 11:25 AM
well i sure never expected a company other than Apple to release a Mac Tablet.....i can't imagine as many people would buy it (more would buy from Apple i think)

7on
Jan 5, 2007, 12:29 PM
I'm a traditional fine artist that does some digital stuff. Writing and drawing are more natural to me than keyboarding and mousing. I've owned Wacom tablets, but its clumsy to take a tablet and a laptop into the outdoors to work. I take quite a few notes and do alot of sketching. It would be nice if I could do both directly into a tablet, instead of scanning stuff. It would be one less step in my process. It would also take up less space, that's an advantage of digital over traditional art. A successful convergence of a tablet and laptop would make me very happy. I would definitely be interested in one.

However, the main obstacles I've seen is not the hardware--though the PC versions tend to be horribly underpowered. The software out there imho does not do a great job of mimicking traditional art skills. Its a completely different skill set. I run an older version of illustrator and you cant imagine how often I curse its clunkiness. So I think that part of the success of a tablet has to do with software, ease of use, and the right audience. Is there enough software out there (not just design and art) that can take advantage of the tablets unique input method? Will it be easy to use, and will it be marketed correctly to the right audience? I think there are other traditional artists who would buy into a tablet if these issues were addressed and if the hardware was powerful enough to run somethings like photoshop, etc.

Otherwise yes, this could be toast in 12 months.

Have you ever tried Corel's Painter? I know many people online with Tablet PCs and Painter and they love them. Illustrator is not for traditional fine arts. Also to my knowledge, Painter isn't Universal yet.

If you can send in a Macbook and have them convert it to a tablet for you for a nominal fee, I'll be all for it. Hopefully they'll sell back the parts they can't use to Apple to make the prices not too exuberant. I'd pay up to $500 to convert my baby to a tablet.

shyataroo
Jan 5, 2007, 01:42 PM
this could be the start of a tradition, instaed of just apple annoucning new products and hardware at macworld, why not have 3rd party companies do it too? it generates more interest in the macworld expo, and thus more interest in Apple.

If anyone else has been to them, they would know that macworlds are ALWAYS crowded, particularly if its the first day. I predict that with the advent of OWC's annoucement we may see the Mascone center East and west opened up next year. (to accomidate the rapid influx of people)

ArchiMark
Jan 5, 2007, 01:55 PM
I've got a T4010 at work too, nptski! Works great!

MS OneNote is great for taking notes at meetings and organizing/tracking projects too.

Like others, I'd buy a working Apple tablet in a minute...I've been hoping for one ever since His Steveness killed off the Newt....

PLEASE NOTE: The following comments are from someone who's been using Macs since 1986 and still uses them EVERYDAY! So please don't think that I don't like Apple [have lots of their stock... ;-)...] and love using OSX.... :)

NOW for my comments....

As for this 'new Axiotron/OWC tablet' I'm concerned about how well it will really work as a tablet compared to a WinXP TabletPC. It seems that they're relying on InkWell, which from my limited experience is a poor implementation compared to how well the Newt OS was on the MP2K series...but I guess this may be better than no OSX tablet....

No matter what you all think of MS and Windoz, the fact is that WinXP Tablet PC works very well and probably even better in Vista. I've had several tabletPC's in the past 2 years and they're very good machines.

In fact, after using several including the recent Sony UX90S microPC along with the Fujitsu T4010, it only makes me yawn at Apple's recent offerings.

Haven't seen anything really innovative design-wise from Apple in a long time...just the same old laptops that get a new chip, speed bump, widescreen [wow!!... ;-) ], black case color [cool... ;-) ] etc, but really nothing new, still just a laptop.

What I'd love to see is an Apple version of:

1) a 'convertible TabletPC' such as the Fujitsu T40xx series, where you can use it as a tablet OR a laptop, whichever way YOU want...

2) a micro-PC like the Sony UX series, similar to tabletPC, but small enough to take almost everywhere.....

3) a true subnote like either the Sony TX, Averatec AV-1150, Fujitsu P7xxx for those who don't need or what the features of items 1 and 2 above, but want a SMALL, LIGHT portable...

IF this were to happen (I doubt it, but one can hope...) then along with the other existing Apple computers, Apple users would really start to have some real choices of what hardware they'd like to use that fits THEIR needs...

Just my 2 cents....

Of course, YMMV.....

;)

Mark

As a real estate agent, I currently carry a Fujitsu T4010 to write contracts paperlessly. It is very cool and easy except for the windoze fight. I can email them efficiently to everyone that needs them and to the clients. They are legal as they become a tiff which is essentially a fax. The clients like it as it goes directly to their email account and they can print it if they need to. I can also print a hard copy at the site however I have never been asked.

I also use the tablet to fill out forms and sign them which is cool because it eliminates faxing generations. Marking up something or sketching something is fast and efficient as well. I ould buy a "Tabbook" (my term) in a minute. I currently run my R.E. vertical software in Parallels but have to print to sign so I have the Fujitisu at the ready in a bag in the car.

Mac'Mo
Jan 5, 2007, 02:02 PM
yeah tablets dont seem very practical or in fashion

blashphemy
Jan 5, 2007, 02:18 PM
Graphics artists are more likely to use a tablet and a desktop. A laptop is not ideal for heavy graphics work. Maybe some niche graphics designers.

I don't understand why they'd need to revert to core duo. They have C2D chips that operate at lower wattage than CD's.

I can't see Apple going into this market unless they have some way of doing it better than it's being done now. You are right that it's a niche market. For anyone outside of that niche, it's a poor novelty at best with a premium price tag. Unless you regularly need to use a laptop standing, save your money.

1) Thats my part of my point :)
2) I dunno why either, but all I know is that Lenovo decided to use a CD low-voltage chip in its new Thinkpad X60 Tablet and not a C2D chip. It would have been nice if it was C2D, but its not, and theres a reason for that. The point I was trying to make is that it would be extremely un-Apple for Apple to go back to a CD chip when theyve already transferred all the notebooks to C2D. Kinda like going back and trying to make a PowerBook G5 now.....
3) I want a tablet and I'm not going to use it standing. The point for students is that its somewhat more time-consuming to input an equation, even with the new Equation tool in MS Word 2007, than to handwrite it. Same goes for any kind of organization graph (like Inspiration) or chemistry or any non-linear work. I know I'd appreciate using one in high school to say the least.

As for doing it better than it is now...... ahem need I really say it but isnt OS X better than Windows, including Windows Tablet Edition? :p Especially cause tablets are suited for mobility, which means mobile internet, which means chaos and viruses for windows users but absolutely nada for us (PVPonline.com reference coming up, sry if offended :p) H.O.M.O.s? (Honorable Order of Macintosh Operators)..........

dextertangocci
Jan 5, 2007, 02:56 PM
No one can read my handwriting... I'm pretty sure even the best handwriting recognition software would not be able to decipher my handwriting... So a tablet would therefore be useless for me:)

poipu420
Jan 5, 2007, 04:08 PM
awesome....i was just about to splurge on the fujitsu p1510d tablet 8.9 inch, now i am definitly going to wait.

the reason why id like this is to be able to carry a portable machine, graphic work, high resolution, and the fact that i can web develop on a unix platform and keep everything in sync with my mbp.

ajprice
Jan 5, 2007, 04:21 PM
As a graphic designer, starting to get into Painter type stuff as a hobby, I'm interested in a Mac tablet, especially if it Wacom 'Penabled' like it says. It depends on the price a lot for me, but from the specs they have posted it sounds like its based on the lower MacBook with the combo drive in it, which is £750. People on here have said the price for a ModBook would double, is that just a guess or is the extra cost going to double the price of a MacBook?

bluebomberman
Jan 5, 2007, 06:26 PM
I know I've stated here in this very forum that I'd be first in line to buy a tablet Mac, but I have to say I'm extremely leery of buying a 3rd party mod. I've come to appreciate the Apple approach of controlling both hardware and software (Macs and OS X, iPods and iTunes).

They're going to have to really impress me before I bite on this.

fblack
Jan 5, 2007, 11:35 PM
Have you ever tried Corel's Painter? I know many people online with Tablet PCs and Painter and they love them. Illustrator is not for traditional fine arts. Also to my knowledge, Painter isn't Universal yet.

If you can send in a Macbook and have them convert it to a tablet for you for a nominal fee, I'll be all for it. Hopefully they'll sell back the parts they can't use to Apple to make the prices not too exuberant. I'd pay up to $500 to convert my baby to a tablet.

I havent tried Painter since it was owned by Metacreations (7yrs, maybe?), it was ok back then but I didn't have my wacom yet. I'm sure its seriously improved now. But I havent had time or money to investigate recent upgrades. Illustrator when I was in school used to be touted as a drawing program, which I never really thought it was. The version I'm running is 10 so its more limited than current versions. But its interesting that you say there are people using Tablet PCs with Painter and no wacom. I'd really be curious about the performance. I may want to investigate that, that's good info thanks.

thedbp
Jan 6, 2007, 12:50 AM
Since when do other people.. companies make Mac hardware?

Furthermore since when do other people make computers that can run OS X.

Um, they buy MacBooks.

Then MOD them.

Duh.

Why must people post ridiculous questions without even TRYING to think about them for half a second?

photomaniac
Jan 6, 2007, 04:05 AM
Um, they buy MacBooks.

Then MOD them.

Duh.

Why must people post ridiculous questions without even TRYING to think about them for half a second?

I don't think that's a dumb question... I was also thinking the same thing... I understand that companies make 3rd party stand alone hardware and parts for macs (ie intel motherboards, processors, ram, etc)... but I can't recall when another company branded their own machine using a mac and osx... other than the clones that were out back in the day.

matticus008
Jan 6, 2007, 04:49 AM
[...]but I can't recall when another company branded their own machine using a mac and osx... other than the clones that were out back in the day.

This thread features at least three current examples of this...not to mention the inescapable analogies to products in other industries.

aberracus
Jan 7, 2007, 11:49 AM
Handrwitte recognition isnt so important, if you writte something for your own use, like class notes, meetings notes, diagram acompaning text, u dont need handrwitte recognition cause you can recognize it yourself and that is prett enough (liek taking notes in paper).

As a Graphic artist i will buy a mac tablet Apple or not.

lets hope its good then...

ajprice
Jan 7, 2007, 12:57 PM
Axiotron.com (http://www.axiotron.com/) has its own image of the ModBook.

http://www.axiotron.com/uploads/pics/Home_20070104_02.jpg

CD drive slot is definitely there on the top of the right hand edge, so in the same position as a MacBook. Its also funny that OWC are trying to play the suspense card with an image of the red sheet over the tablet, and Axiotron show it on their homepage (even if it is slightly hidden by the fabric).

DavoMrMac
Jan 7, 2007, 03:49 PM
This could be a good mod, and if OWC are doing it with Apple's knowledge, maybe this will allow Apple to concentrate their efforts into more mainstream products.

A tablet Mac would be nice, but would not sell in the millions, so a mod may be the way to go.

macnews
Jan 7, 2007, 07:30 PM
I would like to see a mac tablet. Granted, a few years ago I can't see the need. The rest of the pieces just were not in place. No we have larger hard drives, better wireless capabilities in both bluetooth and 802.11g and maybe n, better OS (10.4 kicks 10.2), not to mention how everything has shrunk. A 13" tablet (basically a modified macbook) would be great and perfect in many instances. My wife does mental health counseling and wants a mac laptop. I have been waiting to see if something like this might mature as she would take notes much faster if it could be done on screen vs typing in.

I have seen some other health officials use PC tablets like this, including one great setup where he hooks up an external flat screen monitor so you can see what he is writing, look at medical charts, xrays, etc. It is great and I think would save a ton of time.

jbrannan
Jan 9, 2007, 05:45 PM
Was anyone able to go see this product release? Any pictures or comments on it?

Thanks;
-Joseph-

mkrishnan
Jan 9, 2007, 05:52 PM
Do any of the pages say anything about how much it weighs? It looks fairly nice, although the outside casing is a bit clunky.

Grimace
Jan 9, 2007, 05:57 PM
yeah, where the heck is this thing? Lots of graphic designers are waiting to buy...

Bregalad
Jan 9, 2007, 06:08 PM
I think it looks good, but $1100 to turn the screen around and add a pen input seems rather steep. I realize there's a lot of labour involved and probably not sweatshop labour, but that's still a major price premium to get MacBook performance.

dllavaneras
Jan 9, 2007, 06:10 PM
I'd prefer an Apple tablet to a modded MacBook. Don't know why, but I just do :p

mkrishnan
Jan 9, 2007, 06:11 PM
I think it looks good, but $1100 to turn the screen around and add a pen input seems rather steep. I realize there's a lot of labour involved and probably not sweatshop labour, but that's still a major price premium to get MacBook performance.

Yeah, true... it does seem rather steep. I think the biggest problem is that they are probably super low volume. One might hope that if they see some success, they could streamline and lower prices?

P.S. This thread would be remiss without inclusion of the phrase, "put my thing down flip it and reverse it." :)

hamholio
Jan 9, 2007, 06:12 PM
yeah, where the heck is this thing? Lots of graphic designers are waiting to buy...

The link on the first page now has details.

$2200 - $2700, as special "pre-release" pricing.

Grimace
Jan 9, 2007, 07:12 PM
P.S. This thread would be remiss without inclusion of the phrase, "put my thing down flip it and reverse it." :)


Two points: mkrishnan.

aiongiant
Jan 9, 2007, 07:13 PM
hmm i dunno i love this thing the idea of it anyways
and it does seem kinda steep but resonable for what you get i guess

anyone know if you can even still use the keyboard on this thing???
flipable lcd or something?

ShermDog
Jan 9, 2007, 08:24 PM
Was anyone able to go see this product release? Any pictures or comments on it?

Anybody? I checked out both the OWC and Axiotron websites, and there's some information/pictures of the Modbook, but no information about weight or dimensions.

bousozoku
Jan 9, 2007, 08:31 PM
well i sure never expected a company other than Apple to release a Mac Tablet.....i can't imagine as many people would buy it (more would buy from Apple i think)

It was the same way with the first portable Mac. A third party took a 512 KB Mac and put it in a portable case and sold it. It was also more expensive, of course. After a while, Apple finished thinking about it and started making the 14 pound Mac Portable.

macEfan
Jan 9, 2007, 08:32 PM
doesn't seem to have the brilliant apple design.... and its wayy to pricy....


however, the GPS thing does look decent, and I know apple is making a lot of money on these things...

I think OWC should include at least 1gb ram with every model... If your paying $2200 you should at least get 1gb ram and a superdrive :D

matticus008
Jan 9, 2007, 08:33 PM
Yeah, true... it does seem rather steep. I think the biggest problem is that they are probably super low volume. One might hope that if they see some success, they could streamline and lower prices?

The low volume makes it hard to recoup costs for tooling and fabrication, but the Intuos tablets that the pen interface is based upon go for $500 (obviously with some added extras), which is no small potatoes when it comes to mods. It would be inconceivable to pull something like this off for less than $1000, especially when you consider that this company basically has to double-charge for some of the overhead (Apple's own pricing plus their own support/service/marketing/etc.).

magriver
Jan 10, 2007, 04:30 AM
I think the pricing here is fare. Looking at other tablets and also the WACOM technology. The market for these is a smaller one, and mass production from Apple isn't very likely. Looking at products lately from Apple like the iPod and now the iTV and the iPhone, these are designed for the masses. If these tablets can fill a niche in a market that obviously needs it that is great. I would love one my self, but have no real need for it. I'm and apple junky and been one since the early 90's. I have 2 Newtons around here somewhere, but they just didn't make it. Apple can obviously help with the development and the price, but today a company’s income comes from mass production unless they can overprice it. There is the difference between real need and want, and then there is marketing to create an artificial need.

mkrishnan
Jan 10, 2007, 06:09 AM
It would be inconceivable to pull something like this off for less than $1000, especially when you consider that this company basically has to double-charge for some of the overhead (Apple's own pricing plus their own support/service/marketing/etc.).

Well, that's where the volume comes in. Particularly if they had volume sales agreements with Intuos just for the components they needed....

But anyways, that's interesting. I didn't know who made the digitizer.

Related question... they advertise it as having this "touchglass" cover or something like that? What is it?

7on
Jan 10, 2007, 10:17 AM
I'm investigating as to whether they allow people to send in their Macbooks and have them mod it into a ModBook for a fee.

I'll see what their customer support has to say.

I am interested... a Cintiq tablet costs upwards of $2500 and this Modbook just means I'll get a computer for free :D

matticus008
Jan 10, 2007, 04:24 PM
Well, that's where the volume comes in. Particularly if they had volume sales agreements with Intuos just for the components they needed....
Right. My sense of the people talking about this at MWSF, though, is that while it's generally regarded as cool, most people would just buy a Macbook (or two!) at the end of the day. It's hard for most people to justify spending that amount of money, even if they know the asking price is justified.

I'd imagine that any bulk-order discounts wouldn't happen until they had proven high demand, which would give them leverage. For now, I wouldn't be surprised if they only received, at best, a modest distributor discount or wholesale price.

Related question... they advertise it as having this "touchglass" cover or something like that? What is it?
You know, I'm not sure. I think they're just referring to the touchscreen, but using the word "glass" to imply strength and rigidity?

fblack
Jan 10, 2007, 05:38 PM
Yeah, true... it does seem rather steep. I think the biggest problem is that they are probably super low volume. One might hope that if they see some success, they could streamline and lower prices?

P.S. This thread would be remiss without inclusion of the phrase, "put my thing down flip it and reverse it." :)

I agree it is pricey, but maybe we should compare it to what's out there? Chef Medeski had a link in another thread to the sahara tablet that uses touch screen or stylus. Its a 12" 3.1lb and priced about $2395, do you think they are comparable or one offers better value than the other?

http://www.tabletkiosk.com/tkstore/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=17&idproduct=121

fblack
Jan 10, 2007, 05:43 PM
I'm investigating as to whether they allow people to send in their Macbooks and have them mod it into a ModBook for a fee.

I'll see what their customer support has to say.

I am interested... a Cintiq tablet costs upwards of $2500 and this Modbook just means I'll get a computer for free :D

Their pdf on their more info link says:
Mod-kit for MacBooksTM
convert your standard Macbook into a tablet computer.

That would be interesting if they actually sold a kit for modding your macbook.

ArchiMark
Jan 10, 2007, 06:06 PM
FWIW, I don't think that the pricing for the ModBook is pricey as in 'expensive' or 'rip-off' given what they need to do to a MacBook to turn it into a tablet and as others have said this has gotta be a low-volume production operation at least at first.

However, I think that what many of us are reacting to price-wise is the fact that we know that the MacBook itself can be had for a lot less than the ModBook price and that even after it's been transformed into a ModBook, it's still a MacBook inside with a touchscreen on the outside and the keyboard disappeared.... :rolleyes:

It's too bad that they couldn't salvage the keyboard unit part of the MacBook and find a way to have it clip-on to the tablet when you want to still use a keyboard. This is what the HP TabletPC's did; they gave you the option to either use it as a pure tablet slate unit or clip-on the keyboard and use it as a laptop.....

Anyway, just my 2 cents...

;)

AtlantaGuy
Jan 10, 2007, 07:11 PM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia6230/2.0 (05.24) Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

I've never seen anyone using a tablet. They can't be that popular. Who would want to handwrite documents anyway?

Signatures, not recreating entire documents.
http://www.joeann.com/PDF/TabletPCs.pdf
http://www.vreo.com/solutions/redtablet/videos.aspx

There are, as of today, 2,636,783 licensed real estate agents who are potential customers just in the US. Our only option up till now has been a Tablet PC.

ShermDog
Jan 10, 2007, 09:06 PM
I've never seen anyone using a tablet. They can't be that popular. Who would want to handwrite documents anyway?

There are also millions of doctors and nurses for whom a tablet would be a very useful tool. In fact, many hospitals already use a tablet PC or some variant of the Palm Pilot to order tests, prescribe medicine, etc.

I'm a college professor, and I'd say 2% of all my undergraduate students and 25% of all my graduate students use a tablet PC. It's a lot easier to takes notes of graphics and diagrams and especially equations.

mrkramer
Jan 11, 2007, 09:01 AM
Was anyone able to go see this product release? Any pictures or comments on it?

Thanks;
-Joseph-

I wasn't actually there, but I found this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gib0L_ZYxYE) video that someone put up on You Tube of it.

7on
Jan 11, 2007, 09:09 AM
Their pdf on their more info link says:
Mod-kit for MacBooksTM
convert your standard Macbook into a tablet computer.

That would be interesting if they actually sold a kit for modding your macbook.

Doesn't look like it. Here's the customer support I received:
No. The ModBoook is a new computer. Can't upgrade an existing one.

Let me know if you have any questions about it. Or if you want to place a order. I can be reached at 1-800-275-4576 ext 131

Thank you

Shane Buehn
Account Manager
Educational & Corporate Sales

ArchiMark
Jan 11, 2007, 10:36 AM
The more I think about the ModBook and what I wrote up above...the more I think that it would have been great if they had figured out a way to keep the MacBook more intact and make a 'convertible TabletPC' out of it similar to the Fujitsu T4020 series like I use at work.

This would have avoided them throwing out half (keyboard...) of the MacBook, maintaining more of the original MacBook intact (less mods/parts = maybe lower price??) AND giving us, the users the choice/freedom to either use it as a tablet OR a laptop, so best of both worlds for me (I do realize that some may prefer to have a slate device...).

I do realize that doing a convertible presents a bit of an engineering challenge in creating a strong flexible hinge connection, but it has been done successfully by Fujitsu, HP, Acer, and several other manufacturers...

I wish they'd consulted me before they went to all the trouble to design/prototype the ModBook....

Anyway, just another thought....

:rolleyes:

PS. tnkgrl went to MacWorld and took some photos of the ModBook...check out the last 4 photos shown on this page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tnkgrl/sets/72157594470070077/

Her blog is at:
http://tnkgrl.wordpress.com/

fblack
Jan 11, 2007, 04:24 PM
Doesn't look like it. Here's the customer support I received:

Hmmm....then I guess their pdf is wrong.

A macbook is 5.2 Lbs, I wonder if it adds to the overall weight? The sahara is 3.1 lbs, it would be nice if the modbook shaved off a pound from the macbook by removing the keyboard etc....

xPismo
Jan 11, 2007, 04:54 PM
...many hospitals already use a tablet PC... It's a lot easier to takes notes of graphics and diagrams and especially equations.

Interesting its catching on with the grads. I spent some time listening to people and messing with the tablet myself yesterday. Its impressive, but I think its price point is way to high.

Plus there were problems. One tablet broke, another was 'slow' for unknown reasons. . . and the other was skipping when people used photoshop. Rosetta probably.

Sadly, I think its missing the 'apple touch' which would get it selling. Lots of interested people, but not a lot of people talking about buying one.

kainjow
Jan 11, 2007, 06:27 PM
AppleInsider also posted some nice photos:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70438

fblack
Jan 11, 2007, 09:34 PM
Just got back from local hyundai dealership, their service dept now has tablets when they go out to check you in, they also get you to sign on the tablet and wirelessly print out your order. They're just starting to train on them didn't get a chance to see what the manufacturer was, but they were all pretty excited.



They said one of the reasons for getting the tablets is that when they checked in your vehicle, they could also walk around it and make notations of any bumps, dents, scratches etc. They said they get alot of people accusing them of damaging their cars so they will input this stuff directly into the system using the tablets.

true.intentions
Feb 2, 2007, 04:11 PM
So seeing all the confusion about the modkit and everything, I decided to email the manufacters Axiotron where only 10 minutes later, I obtained a very satisfying reply. =) It IS very expensive to send in a macbook, and to have them mod it FOR you, but a DIY kit is not planned. =( Here is the email I sent in full:

On this information page of the modbook (http://eshop.macsales.com/Customized_Pages/modbook/ modbook_info_p1.html), it says that the ModBook kit will be availble.

I was wondering if there will a real kit coming out, and if there is one. How much will it cost? And if it would be possible to send in a macbook, and have you guys mod it. If we can send in a macbook, how much would that cost?

This information would be very helpful.
And GREAT job on the design, and overall look of the Modbook! If I hadn't bought a Macbook yet, I'd pre-order ASAP.

And here is their response:

Dear (I have removed my name),

Thank you for your interest and kind feedback.

Axiotron is providing the ModBook as a conversion kit to its Authorized
ModBook Solution Partners, who in turn sell the complete solution
(MacBook, ModBook kit, conversion service, plus 1 year warranty on the
complete solution) to you, the enduser. The list price for the ModBook
kit alone is currently $1,090.

In the US you can order our ModBook exclusively from our distributor
Other World Computing (OWC, www.macsales.com) who is offering
performance upgrades to the Mac community since 1988. They not only
offer you the complete solution custom built to your specifications
(hard drive, RAM, DVD, etc..) but also include a 1 year OWC warranty on
the whole solution, with an optional 2 year warranty extension
(Apple-Care-style).

Once Apple MacBooks in the field start to run out of warranty in May
(they had been introduced in May last year), OWC will begin evaluating
the possibility to offer a ModBook kit only solution (Kit + conversion
service) for MacBook owners later this year. A DIY solution is
currently not planned.

With kind regards,
Andreas Haas

(Andreas Haas is the president of their company.) So there you go! Hopefully the confusion will end and the kit will come out soon.

-crosses fingers-