Modbook Pro Is Secret Son of an iPod Touch and a MacBook Pro

Modbook Pro Is Secret Son of an iPod Touch and a MacBook Pro

No XL iPod touch pro or fabled Apple tablets at the Philnote. Too bad, because I want one badly. Maybe the new pen and touch-enabled Modbook Pro will do.

The new version of the Modbook is made of machined aluminium, finished in black. While its design is clearly not Jon Ive’s, the 2.4cm Modbook Pro is thinner than the Macbook it is based on, and more elegant and straightforward than their previous model.

The new guts include a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Nvidia GeForce® 9600M GT graphics, but the most important thing in a tablet computer is the surface itself. At 15.4-inch WXGA display, it is larger than the 12-inch Cintiq Wacom I reviewed and it has something that the Wacom or the original Modbook don’t have: Its touch sensing.

The Modbook Pro uses a technology called Synergy Touch, which combines the pressure-pen Wacom system with direct and simultaneous touch input. They don’t say if it supports multitouch gestures in Mac OS X or Windows, but the multiple input is great news.

The only bad thing is its price. At $US4,999 for the model based on the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro, this thing is prohibitively expensive as far as tablet PCs go. It’s not surprising, since they are done by hand–there’s a Modservice Pro that will reconvert your MacBook Pro into a Modbook Pro for $US3,049–but still hard to justify looking at the alternatives from other PC manufacturers.

Hopefully, Apple will eventually supersize the iPod touch. When they do, I hope they go the other way around and add pressure-sensitive pen input to it. [Axiotron]