MacPad? The OS X tablet is here

“The OSX tablet is here,” Max Cherney reports for BYTE.

“The Modbook Pro is a near total conversion of a mid 2012, 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, transforming the laptop into a device that is startlingly close to a tablet,” Cherney reports. “With a slate-like appearance, Modbook replaced the MacBook’s display with a ‘Penabled’ pen tablet digitizer from Wacom.”

Cherney reports, “While the Modbook Pro does not have a touch screen – OSX does not support a touch screen at present – the pen, the company claims, helps makes the machine ‘tablet-like.'”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I like the idea, but it goes against what Apple would have in mind for OS X. On top of that, I’m not sure Apple will want this product to be on the market. Remember Psystar? That might happen again.

  2. Modbooks have been around since 2009, and predate the release of the iPad. I thought it was very neat back when Axiotron first announced it.

    This latest Modbook Pro does look very nice if a person has a specific use case for this form factor. Definitely still expensive though, with a starting price of $3,500.

    1. People who want one.

      Using your fingers to be “creative” is what a child does when finger painting.

      Many (most?) adult professionals (like myself) want (require) something a little more sophisticated and precise than their fingertips.

      Not that I want or need a Modbook.

      1. Hence why the Surface Pro appears to be of interest to the audience that want a stylus, touch and excellent computing power. I have both a Surface Pro 128 and an iPad 4 with a Brydge keyboard and the Surface is by far more friendly for office use. Bluetooth mouse, keyboard and 27″ monitor at work and nice portability when away from the office.

        I would not bet against a OSX tablet in the coming year or so. This said, my MBA 13 mid 2011 is still a nice option for OSX users who are 100% anti MSFT. 🙂


    2. I certainly do, for scribbling down quick notes, sketching in Paper, doing more detailed retouching on photos…
      Only a child sticks their fingers in a paint-pot and daubs them on a piece of paper, if you want to paint or draw, then a fine-point stylus that allows you to draw like a regular ink pen, or change to a broader fibre-tip, or a fine or broad brush is the most sensible answer. Steve Jobs was referring to the use of a stylus as the only means for inputting data and manipulating said data, not about using a stylus for the purpose a stylus is most appropriate.

    3. Steve Jobs was specifically referring to using a stylus as a pointing device — which are completely useless in a multi-touch environment. By not even considering the stylus, they were able to rethink mobile interaction and interfaces.

    1. Yeah you’re right. I think the will do away with the physical keyboard which will piss a load of people of at first until everyone realises its great. I’ve read about patents by Apple that include – a touchscreen keyboard which provides feedback as you type giving the sensation of pressing a button, including the ability to somehow simulate different textures to the touch. Mind boggling stuff.
      Apple will be the first to have the balls to do away with a physical keyboard on the Macbook Air.

  3. This should be thought of as a Mac version of pre-iPad Windows tablets. Or a Mac with a built-in Wacom digitizer screen. It’s not something new, and previous attempts have not been very successful.

  4. Iintel has a FASTER chip. How can you run final cut x on an Arm?
    You can’t.If you have an OSX macbook you will need something that goes at about 3 ghz! This is something poeple NEED to think about. When the Haswell chip comes out ALL the “PCs’ will move to tablets. They KNOW Pc sales are dropping. But Apple “owns” the tablet market…..but with a WEAKER chip than intel.
    How can you run final cut x on an Arm. Apple NEEDS to really think about this. The new Wintel/tablets will ALL have a better, faster chip, and doen’t think they won’t use that in their ads.

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