Several months ago, I reviewed Axiotron’s ModBook, the only available Apple Mac Tablet. With a just announced new version of the ModBook, it appears Axiotron is making some real strides to address some of the issues I had with the previous version.
Here is a rundown of the new features as well as their full press release. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the new version and bringing the Tablet PC space an updated review. The new ModBook is available for $2249, or you can retrofit your MacBook for $1299
- Better system performance and Mac compatibility
- Full Bluetooth ® connectivity
- Lightweight and scratch-resistant exterior – Axiotron’s Quadcoat process
- Upgraded drawing surface and display characteristics
- Enhanced GPS capability
- Better pen tablet performance
- Improved power usage
- Decreased to 5.3 lbs
High-tech hardware manufacturer Axiotron ® today introduced significant improvements and enhancements to the Modbook ®, its award-winning tablet Mac ® solution. Praised as ““an impressive feat of engineeringÃ¢â‚¬Â by CNET and as ““cleverly designedÃ¢â‚¬Â by USA Today, the Modbook lets users draw and write directly on the screen by seamlessly integrating Axiotron’s technology with a Wacom ® Penabled ® digitizer and an Apple ® MacBook ® computer.
The new Modbook (http://www.axiotron.com/modbook) features a collection of hardware and software changes impacting almost every aspect of the device. Axiotron has upgraded the Modbook’s hardware controller board for improved sleep, battery and system performance. In addition, specially designed radio frequency (RF) shielding boosts the digitizer’s responsiveness, markedly reducing the potential for electronic interference with its pen tablet functionality. Also, a new bonding process for the Modbook’s AnyViewÃ¢â€žÂ¢ LCD panel and paper-emulating ForceGlassÃ¢â€žÂ¢ screen cover results in a better contrast ratio, a firmer etched drawing surface, and decreased parallax between pen tip and cursor — refinements that add even more accuracy to the Modbook’s already unrivaled drawing and writing experience.
Most noticeably, the Modbook now incorporates Axiotron’s QuadCoatÃ¢â€žÂ¢ process — adapted from auto industry techniques — that protects the sturdy-yet-lightweight magnesium top shell with a liquid metallic coating. This, in addition to other changes, decreases the weight of the highly portable Modbook to only 5.3 pounds.
““We have listened carefully to the feedback and insights of our customers,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Axiotron CEO Andreas E. Haas. ““This customer-centric approach focuses our team on the most useful innovations, not only for the Modbook but in developing future products and product modifications.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Beginning immediately, the Modbook will ship with the following improvements and enhancements:
— Better system performance and Mac compatibility: A redesigned Axiotron hardware controller board offers more efficient power usage, less battery drain in sleep mode and revamped Axiotron firmware for improved system performance, better compatibility with the Mac OS ® X operating system and updatability for future feature upgrades.
— Full Bluetooth ® connectivity: The Axiotron Modbook offers 100% support of the Apple MacBook base system’s native Bluetooth capability. Bluetooth devices such as a keyboard or mouse will pair with the Modbook.
— Lightweight and scratch-resistant exterior: The Axiotron QuadCoat process safeguards the Modbook’s signature magnesium top shell with a new liquid metallic coating while helping to lower the Modbook’s weight.
— Upgraded drawing surface and display characteristics: Axiotron’s AnyView LCD and ForceGlass screen cover are now sealed using a proprietary process that eliminates the air gap between the two components, creating a better contrast ratio through improved light transmissivity (especially noticeable in outdoor environments), as well as a firmer drawing surface and decreased pen-to-cursor parallax.
— Enhanced GPS capability: The GPS antenna has been reconfigured to provide improvement in obtaining a four-satellite fix in an unobstructed outdoor area, enabling the Modbook’s GPS module to furnish coordinate data to third-party GPS applications with greater reliability.
— Better pen tablet performance: Axiotron has specially designed new internal Mu-metal ® shielding that boosts pen tablet responsiveness by greatly decreasing the potential for interference from electronic noise sources.
— New software: Autodesk ® SketchBook ® Express 2009, an industry leading sketching and drawing application, is now exclusively available on the Modbook as part of its standard software package. Axiotron plans additional software enhancements for all Modbook users in early 2009.
— Improved serviceability: The Modbook’s new bonding process and assembly procedures have been designed to optimize field serviceability by the recently expanded Axiotron Authorized Service Provider network.
Customers can purchase a Modbook two different ways. A complete Axiotron Modbook solution including an Apple MacBook base system is available starting at $2,249. Customers can also get a Modbook through Modservice, Axiotron’s innovative new service enabling most non-aluminum Intel ® CoreÃ¢â€žÂ¢ 2 Duo-based Apple MacBooks to be converted into an Axiotron Modbook starting at just $1,299.
To place an order request for the Modbook or Modservice customers can go to http://www.axiotron.com/buy, or visit a conveniently located Axiotron Authorized Reseller. Axiotron continues to ramp up production to meet year-end demand for the Modbook.