Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Modbook Mac Tablet

"Andreas Haas, CEO of Axiotron, tells InformationWeek how the company turns the dowdy MacBook into its sexy Modbook Mac tablet, and why its not afraid of competition from a rumored Apple-made Mac tablet.

If you live all day in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or some other visual Mac app, Axiotron has its eye on you. The company makes the long-awaited Modbook Mac tablet, designed for designers, illustrators, and other visually creative professionals.

"It's for people who draw, scribble, and paint," said Axiotron CEO Andreas Haas. We sat down with Haas for a one-on-one interview recently.

The Modbook, priced starting at $2,290, was announced at Macworld 2007, a little more than a year ago, and finally started shipping Dec. 31.

Axiotron built the unit in cooperation with Apple. The Modbook is manufactured by the same companies that make Macs. Axiotron ships the manufacturers the pen displays, the manufacturers rip the displays and keyboards out of standard MacBooks, and then add the Axiotron display. The manufacturers keep the notebook displays and keyboards and use them to repair defective MacBooks -- displays and keyboards are the most common points of failure for notebook computers, Haas said.

Apple is reportedly developing its own tablet computer, but Axiotron isn't afraid of the competition, Haas said. The Apple tablet will basically be a bigger version of the iPhone or iPod Touch -- a consumer device with a 7-inch to 10-inch display, running a cut-down version of Mac OS X with little or no third-party application support, with an interface that's lacking in fine control, in part because it'll be controlled using the user's finger. "Finger painting is fun -- when you're four," Haas said." View Full Review

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