Axiotron ModBook

by Oliver Breidenbach

Although Apple clearly stole its thunder with the iPhone, the Axiotron ModBook remains the most exciting Mac-related News on the Macworld showfloor.

The ModBook is the first ever commercially available tablet Mac. Although Steve Jobs is reported to see little future in Tablet PCs, clearly he is thinking in terms of shipping millions to masses through the Apple Stores and not about actual solutions that require Tablet PC input.

Which are manyfold in the area of portable data aquisition. May it be surveys, scientific experiments, business process modulation or profane stuff such as taking meeting notes, a pen based tablet has many niche uses of which Axiotron is undoubtedly aware. The coolest thing is the GPS built in which makes the ModBook an excellent navigation and data aquisition instrument.

The price of the product reflects its nature as a speciality article by being roughly twice the price of the MacBook it is based on. But I can imagine a lot of projects where it will come in handy and I am sure that Axiotron will be hard pressed to fulfill demand.

8 Comments

Andy Kowalczyk
2007-01-10 14:09:08
But isn't the iPhone just a very small tablet computer?
Oliver Breidenbach
2007-01-10 15:47:24
But isn't the iPhone just a very small tablet computer.


Yes, but it is useless as a "tablet computer" unless you can put your own software on it. Also, the screen estate is much too small for many applications. The iPhone is useful for the exact purpose it was built. The ModBook can be useful for many purposes.

Andy Kowalczyk
2007-01-10 16:40:11
So it won't be the "iCaplet" computer in June. But between the ingenuity of the iPod cottage industry and the existence of Inkwell in OS X -- who knows what might happen.


Also, considering how many variations of the iPod we have had, I have to believe different form factors of the iPhone will be developed over time.

rcs
2007-01-11 12:26:54
I'd buy one, if only they can figure out how to shoehorn an ExpressCard or PCMCIA slot in the package. I need my Verizon Broadband wireless!
Bryan Wolfe
2007-01-21 12:18:15
As much of a brilliant visionary that Steve Jobs and Apple are, the fact that Steve "Sees very little future in the tablet pc" shows that not everyone knows everything. While testing the Windows XP Tablet edition for Microsoft and my company, I was able to go totally paperless in two days! I have been waiting for a MAC Tablet for two years but I could wait NO LONGER and I had to buy a PC Tablet in October because there was no rumor of a tablet coming out. Bad Marketing Strategy, Steve - I would have waited two or three more months for the Mac Tablet! However, I do not have another 3,000 to throw out the door so I will have to wait the 3 or 4 years that this laptop takes to break down and no longer be useful.


REGARDLESS, the Tablet is the future. In my opinion, do NOT buy a laptop that does not have the table feature. (FYI - the key to a tablet is not trying to open a program like Word / Word Perfect and "handwrite" your words and rely on interpretation. That will drive you crazy! Get a "Convertable Tablet" with a key board and type that stuff in. The value is in the "Journal" or "OneNote" type programs that allow you to fill out forms or write all your notes in your handwriting, draw charts and pictures like you would do on a piece of paper, and then save them to the computer. In the end, you only "Copy as Text" a fraction of your notes to be inserted into a Word Processing programming.


The value is that your notes are digitized AND Searcheable! That is correct - I said searchable! I can also import PDF forms into my Tablet's Journal program, fill them out in my own handwriting, sign them, and save as PDF, HTML, or image to then email - without ever having to print the piece of paper. Convertable Tablets are the future - people just have to understand how to use them!

Loren Reale
2007-02-08 19:10:30
You don't need an express card slot for Verizon or any cell company wireless. They now have ones that will work through a USB port.
Diane Andronica
2007-02-21 09:19:38
Can you plug in an external keyboard to the modbook and enter data?
Daniel Wells
2007-06-12 22:05:08
When I first saw this product, I was very curious. I have been very interested in TabletPC technology, but I am a sworn Linux/Solaris/Mac user. I detest using Windows. I have several thoughts/questions about the Axiotron ModBook. In all the demonstrations of the ModBook I have seen, the only showing of the use of the pen was been either in Writing Recognition or drawing directly with imaging software. I have yet to see "on-paper" style note software support equivalent to Windows Journal or Microsoft OneNote. As far as I am concerned, for a Tablet, these features are not optional. Furthermore, the Axiotron has the optional GPS. However, I have not seen any included software for this system, and I have seen no demonstration of the hardware being used. I know you could purchase your own software. However, as far as I am concerned, if it is following in the Apple tradition, you NEVER send out hardware without INCLUDED software support.
Great concept. I am eager to see how it holds up. But since MacOSX and iLife were not specifically designed for a Tablet machine, software support should be included by Axiotron.
I would also like to see a hybrid Modbook. I have never been impressed by slate Tablets. As a computer technician, I would never trust the pen to be my only method of input [even in OSX], and I don't wanna have to carry around USB or BT keyboard/Mouse everywhere I go.
Needs a little work yet.