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Modbook: A 15.4" Macbook Pro

A Touchable Macbook, Redux By Ko Maruyama
Modbook: A 15.4" Macbook Pro
A Touchable Macbook, Redux

Way back in 2009, we had a 4 day hands on session with Modbook's (Axiotron) offering.  Then, it was a 15" modbook.  Granted, the Macbooks that were available then weren't nearly as powerful as the low end machines we have today.  And, in 2009, the touch alternatives weren't great.  Five years later, Modbook Inc. comes back with a brand new proposition: A Modbook from a Macbook Pro 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 monster with 32GB RAM and 2TB of storage.

This new hardware  isn't a regular roll out from the company.  It's a Kickstarter project.  This isn't for everyone.  It's a niche product from the start. 

The ability to have a stylus, screen, and monster computer under the glass is for the creative professional section.  For those who use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools, especially Photoshop and Illustrator will see an obvious upside to the 2048 levels of sensitivity.  3D artists who design organic forms using tools like Autodesk, MAXON, Newtek Lightwave, ZBrush will appreciate the processing power of a serious piece of Apple hardware.

The cost to modify a single deck in the kickstarter campaign is going to run just under $2000.  But you'll have to fork over your own Macbook Pro to them - but you'll also miss out on the keyboard stand or keybars)

If you're really interested in a killer machine, you can pledge $5,689 to get the 2.8GHz Ultimate which includes the keybars and keyboard.

The Keybars are macro keys that are in the back of the Modbook housing.  They are configurable for right or left handed people, and they are fully programmable to the key commands that you use the most.  I haven't held a Modbook, but a concern would be that you'll be pressing buttons on the back all the time.  (I'm sure there will be a "disable" feature similar to the buttons you find on your Wacom Intuos Pro / Wacom Cintiq)

It's a pretty crowded niche, as small as it is.  The Microsoft Surface and Wacom's own offerings compete with this Kickstarter project, but for people who want a real Mac experience, there is no substitute.   You have a week to help get it funded: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modbook/modbook-pro-x-154-retina-quad-core-mac-os-x-tablet

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:modbook, apple, macbook, macbookPro, Wacom, Microsoft Surface, Adobe, Maxon, Autodesk, Maya, Mac, iOS


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