MWSF: Additional ModBook Details and Pictures

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 14:18
Category: News

San Francisco — After a visit to the combined Other World Computing/Axiotronic booth at Macworld Expo San Francisco, we’re able to round out some additional facts about the firms’ joint efforts towards bringing the ModBook (the first-ever after-market conversion of an Apple MacBook to include an LCD tablet screen and interface).
The ModBook, which will ship at the beginning of April (according to Other World Computing’s CEO and President Larry O’Connor), will be available from Other World Computing, which will sell the completed tablet and perhaps offer a do-it-yourself kit at a later date, OWC checking the serial number and performing the conversion to anyone who wants to send a current MacBook in.
The units, which will be distributed by Other World Computing, are being designed by Axiotronic, which was founded by Andreas Haas, aformer member of Apple’s Newton team prior to the company’s closing of the division. The company had initially designed a tablet conversion for the iBook G4 laptop when Apple shifted toward the Intel architecture and Axiotronic shelved the product, citing it as a test bed and learning experience.
Check out the full article and photo gallery after the jump…


San Francisco — After a visit to the combined Other World Computing/Axiotronic booth at Macworld Expo San Francisco, we’re able to round out some additional facts about the firms’ joint efforts towards bringing the ModBook (the first-ever after-market conversion of an Apple MacBook to include an LCD tablet screen and interface).
The ModBook, which will ship at the beginning of April (according to Other World Computing’s CEO and President Larry O’Connor), will be available from Other World Computing, which will sell the completed tablet and perhaps offer a do-it-yourself kit at a later date, OWC checking the serial number and performing the conversion to anyone who wants to send a current MacBook in.
The units, which will be distributed by Other World Computing, are being designed by Axiotronic, which was founded by Andreas Haas, aformer member of Apple’s Newton team prior to the company’s closing of the division. The company had initially designed a tablet conversion for the iBook G4 laptop when Apple shifted toward the Intel architecture and Axiotronic shelved the product, citing it as a test bed and learning experience.
From a legal standpoint, Axiotronic and Other World Computing (long a licensed Apple reseller) stand in the clear. The product is an after-market conversion and while the process would ordinarily violate Apple’s standard warranty, Other World Computing includes a one year warranty that can be extended up to three years, the pricing details of this to be determined later.
The tablet itself is composed of aircraft-quality magnesium alloy which feels similar to the standard MacBook, but has a more “centered” weight which works better with a tablet. In the event of a system failure, the Mac OS X drivers will provide support for the tablet via Apple’s Inkwell technology, which has been included in the operating system since Mac OS X 10.2.
The venting, which is more pronounced, is cited as more efficient according to Axiotronic head Andreas Haas. Built-in GPS antennas have been integrated into the display, the GPS unit being a $100 option for interested users.
The ModBook is currently available for pre-registration and is available at a special price of $2,199 for the base configuration. The current suggested retail price is $2,279 and sources cited interest from brick and mortar retails, although the unit will only be available online for a period of time.
Interested markets have included health and medical administration. Although the technology will never touch the patient, Haas commented that the technology can “unleash doctors form their desks” and keep them away from their offices and mobile in order to reach additional patients.
The ModBook is expected to reach the European markets around the middle of this year and there’s also interest in the units from Asian markets.
Check out the full gallery via flickr.com for additional photos.
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