Axiotron morphs MacBooks into tablets with the ModBook Pro

Axiotron's ModBook Pro

In the midst of all this growth and innovation in the mobile computing world, have you ever found yourself stuck in a Goldilocks-style predicament, unable to find a happy medium between the computing power of a notebook and the mobility of a tablet? Well good news: it seems that Axiotron is only a few months away from the long-awaited release their new Modbook Pro, a hybrid between a Macbook Pro and an iPad that could finally be the solution for those looking for something that isn’t too tablet, isn’t too notebook, but a device thats juuust right.     

Transforming a Mac laptop into a touchscreen tablet isn’t a new idea — Modbook has been doing it for years. You might remember hearing about its first model back in 2008. Back before the word “iPad” was a part of your vocabulary, the folks at Modbook Inc. developed a process to modify regular MacBooks and reshape them into bulky — but powerful — slates. Because the tablet market wasn’t so saturated back then, the Modbook was well-received by consumers. However, shortly after the economic downturn of 2008, the company had some trouble staying afloat, and despite the fact that we’ve caught glimpses of working prototypes for over three years, Axiotron hasn’t been able to release the Pro version of the Modbook until this year. 

Because it starts life as a MacBook Pro, the hardware specs of the ModBook Pro are just what you’d expect: a 2.5GHz dual core Intel Core i5 processor or 2.9GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, a 2.5–inch SATA drive (up to 1TB HDD or up to 960GB SSD), an 8X SuperDrive DVD burner, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity capability, a built-in 63.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, a 60W MagSafe power adapter, and all the standard ports. 

In addition to the physical makeover, Axiotron adds a Wacom pen-digitizer and an etched-glass screen that is designed to mimic the feel of writing on paper.

With the ability to run full-fledged Mac applications, the tablet is sure to give other tablets a run for their money. With a massive 13.3-inch (diagonal) display, it offers a workspace considerably larger than most other tablets. Pair that with the state-of-the-art pressure sensitivity, and the ModBook becomes a powerful tool for creative users. We can see this being especially useful for those doing any sort of image editing or graphic design. The screen has a recognition rate of 133 points per second, and a recognition resolution of one one-hundredth of a millimeter. In plain English, that means a smooth, precise, and responsive writing.

It certainly sounds like the Modbook has a lot to offer the tablet market, but as far as we can tell it will likely have a few drawbacks as well. 

The designers gave it a rubber enclosure that allows it to be propped up without slipping, but the lack of a built-in stand or easel is sure to be annoying when you find yourself stacking books and old CD cases behind it just so you can comfortably watch a movie.

Also, because it starts life as a MacBook Pro, the modbook won’t have an accelerometer — meaning it won’t be able to recognize when its being turned vertically or tilted in any direction. Judging from the information on ModBook’s website, there are no indications that such hardware is being added during the modification process. Aside from imprisoning users in a permanent landscape view, this also means no tilt-to-steer racing games, no Labyrinth, and no shake-to-shuffle your music. The accelerometer is a crucial part of any card-carrying phone or tablet, and ModBook’s lack of tilt functionality will probably make it less appealing to those using it as an e-reader or gaming platform. 

One of the biggest drawbacks, however, is likely to be the price. Potential buyers can expect to pay the cost of a brand-spanking-new MacBook Pro, plus a bit extra for modifications and added hardware. Although the company hasn’t released pricing details just yet, a new ModBook Pro is likely to fall into the $1,500 to $2,000 range — and that’s at the low end of the spectrum. With a nicer MacBook as your base, the price could easily top $3,500 — far higher than the $200 to $500 range you might spend for an iPad or Android tablet.

However, for the user who needs the computing power of a notebook and the mobility of a tablet, the ModBook Pro might be well worth the money.

Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Computing

The Surface Pro 6 is a minimalist update on the best tablet 2-in-1

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, it's a small, but notable update.
Computing

The next Surface Pro could be a complete redesign. Here's what we know so far

The Surface Pro might have pioneered the 2-in-1 form factor, but the design has stayed the same over the last seven years. Here's what we're looking to see from the Surface Pro 7,
Mobile

How to check your IMEI number on an iPhone, Android, or other device

If you're wondering how to check your IMEI number, then this guide will show you how to do it, regardless of what phone you have. You can find your IMEI number using the dialer, in settings, or in a couple of other places.
Mobile

Need more power now? Here's how you can fast charge your iPhone

The new iPhones have almost everything an iOS addict could want -- except for a fast charger. If you need your iPhone powered back up in a hurry, here's everything you need to know to get your iPhone charged up quickly.
Mobile

The Apollo Traveller is the fastest recharging power bank we’ve ever used

Power banks are getting better all the time, but the Apollo Traveller from Elecjet hits new heights in terms of charging and recharging speeds thanks to the use of a graphene composite for cooling. Here's what happened when we tried it out.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for February 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

These are the 6 best free antivirus apps to help protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

Get ready for new AirPods, MacBooks as rumored dates for Apple WWDC 2019 emerge

Apple developers and fans alike look forward, every year, to the company's World Wide Developer Conference, WWDC, and for this year, we already have the rumored dates that might bring us Apple's latest tech announcements.
Computing

This Mac keyboard is slim, dark, and clicky, but it’s still not perfect

There aren't many great mechanical keyboards for Macs. The Keychron K1 is just the latest attempt to join that hallowed group, but does its blend of style and substance tick all the boxes?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Computing

One of these monitors will look great next to your new MacBook Pro

Apple doesn't make its beloved Cinema Display monitors anymore, which makes finding the best monitor for the MacBook Pro more difficult. In this guide, we break down some of our favorites and offer something for every size and budget.