The custom Mac tablet, the Modbook, is back—this time with a souped-up, 15.4-inch display and the latest Mac hardware under the hood.
To make this dream a reality, however, Modbook is asking that you fund a Kickstarter campaign for the Modbook Pro X, which will cost a minimum of $2,000 apiece. That funding will buy you a place on Modbook’s assembly line; company executives hope to deliver the first Modbook tablets in 2015.
The Modbook has been around for about seven years, when Axiotron and Other World Computing teamed up to deliver the first Mac tablet at Macworld. Three years later in 2010, however, Apple released the first iPad, a much smaller tablet powered by Apple’s iOS. Subsequent upgrades yielded the Modbook Pro.
In essence, the ModBook Pro X is a custom enclosure, made up of either a MacBook Pro that the customer itself provides, or one that Modbook purchases from Apple. Either way, the conversion process voids the Apple warranty, although Modbook will replace it with its own in-house warranty solution.
The Modbook Pro X is actually based on the upgraded MacBook Pros Apple announced earlier this week, Mark Perlstein, the company's marketing director, said in an email. It can be configured with a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip, up to 32GB of 1600MHz RAM, up to 2TB of flash storage, and either the default Iris graphics or an Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics card.
Like other Modbooks, it ships with a stylus with 2048 levels of pressure. The tablet preserves the connectivity options of the MacBook Pro: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 ports, one SDXC slot, one HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. It will run OS X Yosemite when that OS becomes available in the fall.
Users can also select optional KeyBars—macro keys that can save time while the user is working with the stylus. An optional keyboard stand serves as an easel, keyboard, and screen protector.
“We’re beyond excited to launch the Modbook Pro X,” said Andreas Haas, Modbook’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our prototype testing shows the Modbook Pro X blows away the competition.”