Axiotron Modbook

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Modbook
Axiotron Modbook in container box
Developer Axiotron, Inc.
Type Tablet Computer
Release date December 31, 2007[1]
Introductory price USD$899
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.1GHz
Website Axiotron Modbook

The Modbook is an after-market modification that converts an Apple MacBook into a slate-style tablet computer.[2] Developed by Los Angeles, California-based Axiotron, Inc., the Modbook was introduced in the 2007 Macworld Conference & Expo. It won a Best in Show award at that same conference.[3] The Modbook is currently the only tablet-form Mac that has ever been commercially available. At Macworld 2009, Axiotron announced the future availability of the Modbook Pro, a larger and more powerful system based on the 15" MacBook Pro.

Conversion process[edit]

The top segments of the MacBook are removed, which include the keyboard, LCD screen and camera. A glass screen cover, a new LCD screen, a sensor board, the original camera and a chrome-plated magnesium top shell are then installed. This is done either to a new-from-Apple MacBook for a device sold complete to a new owner, or to the customer's previously owned MacBook for an after-market modification.

Description[edit]

As the Modbook is based on Apple's MacBook, its technical specifications are largely similar to that of the then-current revisions of the MacBook.

A Modbook Pro on display at the Axiotron booth during Macworld Expo 2009.

As of January 2009, the Modbook uses an Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn CPU. The CPUs have 3 MB of L2 cache and run at an 800 MHz Front Side Bus. The CPUs run at 2.1 GHz. The Modbook's main memory is supplied by two DDR2 DIMMs running at 667 MHz. The basic configuration has 1 GB with the option to upgrade to as much as 4GB.

The standard Modbook has space for one primary SATA hard drive, which can be configured up to capacities of 500 GB, and an ATA optical drive. The optical drive may be replaced with a secondary hard drive, although this is limited to an ATA interface and drive speeds of 5400rpm.

Connectivity options on the Modbook are identical to the underlying MacBook and include two USB 2.0 ports and a single Firewire port. Networking is supported with an integrated Gigabit Ethernet port, a Wi-Fi card that supports the 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n specification and Bluetooth. The Modbook can also be connected to an external display device using a Mini-DVI port (supports DVI, VGA, S-video, and composite video). The system includes an integrated iSight webcam. A modification from the original MacBook is the inclusion of a WAAS GPS device.

The Modbook has the same size display as the MacBook, but uses a different screen more suited to use as a tablet computer. The display layer is called "AnyView", which is bonded to the pen-tracking layer called "ForceGlass". The tracking layer is the outermost, and has been chemically etched in order to improve the durability of the screen and also improve the response of the stylus. The tablet computer functionality is provided by an active digitizer, using Wacom's Penabled technology. On the standard Modbook, input is only possible using the included stylus or by using compatible peripherals. The system uses Apple's Inkwell software to recognize handwriting.ModBook Pro only supports Pen Input,does not support Finger Touch Input.The Stylus pen with the ModBook Pro has higher Pressure sensitivity levels than that of its predecessor,it supports 1024 levels of Pressure Sensitivity.

Modbook Pro[edit]

The Modbook Pro was a tablet computer due to be sold the 1st quarter of 2011. The Modbook is based on the MacBook Pro 15 inch laptop. The Modbook Pro is very similar to its sibling, the Modbook, but with the following additional features: 15 inch screen, Axiotron SynergyTouch, Force Glass, better processor, more memory, custom flush-bezel, and an SD Card slot. The Modbook Pro also features Ethernet, FireWire 800, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, digital audio, and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Modbook Pro is now being made by some of the same people at a new company, called Modbook Inc.

Modbook Pro X[edit]

In the summer of 2014 a Kickstarter campaign was created by Andreas Haas for the Modbook Pro X. It was successfully funded for $318,244. After which Modbook/Andreas Haas ran a "Last Call" on the Modbook website where they raised additional monies to bring the final total they raised to $403,824. This figure is listed in the update that was published on the Kickstarter site on October 17, 2014. Things proceeded at a slow but steady pace until May of 2015 when Apple updated the MacBook Pro. This caused a redesign of the Modbook Pro X. No new delivery date for the Modbook Pro X was given at the time.

On October 16, 2015 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website a tentative delivery date of the end of quarter 4 (of 2015).

On December 16, 2015 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that the delivery date of the ModBook Pro X would be pushed up from December/January to January/February.

On January 29, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that delivery date for the ModBook Pro X would be the end of February/beginning of March.

On February 29, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that the March/April period was looking like a more realistic time frame for production and shipment of the Modbook Pro X.

On June 17, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that, due to a sporadically occurring intermittent technical issue involving the integration of the UIPanel assembly the first shipments of the Modbook Pro X would be in September of 2016.

On August 28, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that they were now expecting the Modbook Pro X would be shipped in November of 2016.

On October 12, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that their equity fundraising campaign had raised and additional $800,000. Currently the campaign page shows that over 1,000,000 has been raised. It was also announced that Mobook would be giving backers the opportunity — at their sole discretion — to share their potential future success with the Kickstarter backers.

Quote from the Modbook/Andreas Haas update. Following the successful closing of the above mentioned fundraising round, we will take a significant portion of our Non-Qualified Stock Option Pool and offer them to Eligible Backers, proportionally based on the amount of their individual pledges. We can't know the exact numbers until the current fundraising round closes, but if our current expectations hold, the Eligible Backers will hold options for up to 5% ownership in our company (= fully diluted stock).

On November 18, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that they would allow the transfer of pledges from a backer to another party. A call was put out to those who wished to sell and those who wished to buy in. At this point Apple had released an New MacBook Pro.

Quote from the ModBook/Andreas Hass Update: Therefore, I lay this question before you: Do you want us to fulfill your Kickstarter rewards with a limited, one time run of the Modbook Pro X revC (as it is described on our website here: http://www.modbook.com/prox ) or do you want to stick it out with us a little longer and take full advantage of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro base systems Apple just introduced?

There will be a Backers-eyes-only update by the end of this weekend with a questionnaire for you to let us know your preference.

On November 21, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website for backers only that a questionnaire was available for backers to choose between the 2015 MacBook Pro and the 2016 MacBook Pro with the touch bar.

On December 18, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that:

The first line item “Panel Type” in the first section “Display” correctly identifies the panel type used in the Modbook Pro X revC as “Apple Retina Display (rev2013)”. This is because the functional specifications (contrast ratio, color space, etc.) of the Apple Retina Display have been essentially the same in every MacBook Pro model since 2013 up to, but not including the new 2016 models.

This had to be started because of the way the questionnaire was phrased it looked like backers were offered a choice between a 2013 MacBook Pro and the 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pro. This was not clarified until after most of the questionnaires were turned in. In fact, Andres Haas passed up an opportunity to correct this mistake early in an email conversation with a backer.

On December 31, 2016 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced in an update that was published on the Kickstarter website that the results of the questionnaire were all in and that only 14.6% voted to fill all Pro X Kickstarter rewards with the mid-2015 based Pro X (rev C) models. They also announced:

We have collected inquiries for both backers interested in passing on their Pro X pledges as well as backers interested in taking over a Pro X pledge and are waiting for legal to finish drafting up the respective documentation. Those of you participating can expect further direct communications in early January. As of February 19th there has been no notification of any addition buy out information.

There were also options worked out for the backers who chose the Mod-Your-Own option. Backers were told that Board has approved a pool of Non-Qualified Stock Options, representing a full 5% of all Modbook shares issued and outstanding as of December 28th, 2016. These options are to be distributed based on their individual pledge amounts, amongst those Kickstarter backers eligible and wanting to receive them. Once legal is finished drafting up those documents, we’ll provide them for your review and completion.

An email was received by a backer on January 19, 2017 from Modbook/Andreas Haas saying:

Based on the order of inquiries submitted, you have been matched with an interested backer, and we are waiting now for legal to finish drafting up the respective documents (hopefully before end of this month). I'll get back to you just as soon as I have them.

On February 20th, 2017 Modbook/Andreas Haas announced that they got hit by a "perfect data storm" to explain their website issues. They gave some updates on integrating the Touch Bar and some dimensional changes to the Modbook Pro X.They also stated that Legal is still working on the paper work for the Option Pool. There was no information on a delivery date or the buy outs for people who wish to sell their pledge.


The Modbook Pro X is the longest running Kickstarter campaign that has yet to deliver to its backers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Axiotron's Highly Anticipated and Award-Winning Modbook Ships Today". 2007-12-31. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. 
  2. ^ McLean, Prince (2007-01-11). "Unofficial Mac tablet draws record crowd at Macworld (high-res photos)". Apple Insider. Apple Insider. Archived from the original on 18 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  3. ^ Honan, Mathew (2007-01-11). "Expo Best of Show winner profiles". Macworld. Macworld. Archived from the original on 8 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 

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