The Forgotten Apple Tablet

For as long as Apple has made anything portable, there have been rumors of an Apple tablet, and after this last flurry of excitement that talked of an October release, I decided that I needed to point out the obvious. Although not completely Apple- made, the object of discussion already exists.

Deemed the “Modbook” by its makers AXIOTRON, this tablet Mac is a marriage of a Macbook and a Wacom Penabled Pen Tablet, while keeping the classic lines and look of a Mac. The keyboard was removed entirely, and the stylus driven video screen was mounted directly to the chassis, giving a slender, one- piece tablet.

I know what you’re thinking. “Now that I have this keyboard-less wonder, I kind of miss my keyboard”. That’s entirely O.K. We are creatures of habit. Thankfully, the Modbook has an onboard virtual keyboard. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can hook up a Bluetooth keyboard, thanks to the Modbooks Bluetooth 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate.

The on- screen display has a maximum resolution of 1280 by 800 for its 13.3 inches. Added to this is a Mini-DVI port, where you can extend your viewing area to another monitor. The external video display resolution supports up to 1920 by 1200 pixels.

Another nifty, not normally available on the Macbooks but comes standard on the Modbook, is GPS. A 20-channel SiRFstarIII GPS chipset is built right in, so feel free to check out that new GPS software.

With a form factor of a small notebook, the Modbook weighs in at 5.3 pounds. This is light enough to hold for a log time, but heavy enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re going to crack it in half every time you touch it.

Aside from the mentioned items, the Modbook is a Macbook, plain and simple. The only downfall that I see currently is that the tablet only accepts stylus input, which means that it would be wonderful for a designer or artist, but less so for anyone looking to use it for normal purposes. Thankfully, AXIOTRON is working on that.

With the release of their up- coming Modbook Pro they will introduce a multi-touch screen that allows simultaneous input from the stylus and touch. This will make the Modbooks much more desirable, and I expect to see them make a much bigger name very shortly.

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