Modbook used to be a small time company that modified Macbooks into tablets. This was long before the Apple iPad came along and spoiled the party for them. Now running as Modbook Inc, they are attempting to keep the ball rolling by building the first ever Mac OS X tablet; and they have turned to Kickstarter to get the project going.
The idea here is that the Macbook is disassembled and then inserted into Modbook’s own custom housing that will allow it to function as a tablet. It then adds several features that are not usually found on a Macbook, like integration with a digitizer pen capable of 2,048 pressure sensitivity levels, eyes-free shortcut buttons, and a special dock for turning the Modbook Pro X into a desktop computer. The eyes-free keybar is the most interesting change here as it puts a bunch of buttons on the back of the tablet, where you can’t see and will have to use a sense of touch to use. Ideally these will be linked to something on the display that tells you where your hands are, but it doesn’t appear to be very useful at the moment.
Naturally, this process completely voids the warranty of the original Macbook Pro (bought from Apple). However, Modbook replaces it with their own hardware guarantee that covers both the base system and the new tablet housing. A housing that interestingly enough only adds half a pound (200g) to the weight of the original Macbook Pro. Thus giving the user a 15.4-inch tablet that weighs just under 5 lbs (2.2kg) and is barely 0.7-inches thick. Oh, and they intend to use the Macbook Pro with Retina display for this particular project.
It isn’t the sort of thing that just anyone will pick up, and the Modbook Pro X is aimed at creative professionals who want a mobile workstation. The sort of person who wishes that their Macbook and drawing tablet were combined into a single machine.
The Kickstarter needs US$150,000 to be fully funded, and it is currently still very far from the goal. This could be due to the ridiculous price tag placed on some of the more interesting rewards. Like US$1,999 for Modbook to take your own personal Macbook and turn it into a tablet. Pledging US$4,999 will get you the baseline Modbook Pro X, without all the extras like eyes-free keybar or docking stand. It appears that like everything to do with an Apple product, this will not be cheap.