updated 09:40 pm EDT, Wed June 27, 2012
Facebook-shared photos show digitizer, pen, two buttons
A teaser image on Facebook materialized earlier today, showcasing what appears to be a new OS X Modbook tablet conversion. The Modbook was originally a plastic-cased MacBook converted by engineers at Axiotron into a 13-inch pen-controlled tablet. The intellectual property has been purchased by a new company now bearing the Modbook name. The teaser images are short on details, but the associated text suggests a product announcement is expected on Thursday.
There are few images available to go with the teaser, but a pen input device is apparent on one, so an active digitizer and with special stylus as found in the original ModBook is likely. A second image shows the OS X dock, above the new Modbook faceplate. The third image shows a power button and what is presumably an optical media eject button, which would eliminate the Retina display Macbook Pro from contention as the core of the tablet.
Axiotron's intellectual property was purchased by one of Axiotron's original engineers, and Modbook, Inc. was founded on March 11 of this year. Capital was generated, and operations began March 13. The original Modbook, based on the 13-inch plastic MacBook, won the "Best of Show" award at the Macworld Expo in 2007, and the Modbook Pro based on the MacBook Pro won in 2009. The product took much longer to ship in volume than originally planned, and in many cases, preorders took a year or more from order to delivery.
Distributor OWC has a Modbook sales page with the original product available in both complete units and a conversion service to transform an existing non-unibody 13-inch MacBook into a Modbook, but OWC representatives report that the product is no longer available. Service and driver support for the original Modbook is available from North Carolina-based repair shop ECMS..