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First True Mac Tablet Arrives at Macworld

AT MACWORLD – While there has been some talk of Apple potentially developing a tablet version of its MacBook laptops, at least one company is not waiting for the Cupertino company to act.

El Segundo, Calif.-based Axiotron launched the “ModBook” at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco Monday. The device is essentially a modified MacBook laptop with a new 13.3″ LCD and the addition of true pen input and optional GPS functionality. Axiotron is headed by Andreas Haas, who was a former management level leader at Apple, and explored the feasibility of a tablet while at the company.

“The Axiotron ModBook enables its user to draw and write directly on the screen, while the handwriting recognition built into Mac OS X Tiger not only turns hand scribbles into text in every application, but also provides extended control of the system through gesture recognition,” Haas said.

Retained in the modified unit would be the combo CD/DVD drive shipped with the unit, and the iSight video camera that would allow for videoconferencing. Built in support for handwriting recognition within OS X would be used for input. Apple has been rumored to be developing a tablet PC for several years now, and the company filed for a design trademark in Europe for such a device. However, nothing has materialized since then other than persistent rumors.

Other World Computing would be the exclusive distributor of the device in the United States, and it is available for order immediately online beginning at $2,279. OWC would also provide a one year warranty on the unit, expandable to three years. As an introductory special, OWC said it would make available the base unit with the GPS add-on for $2,199 through January 31st.

Apple, Mac Tablet, Macworld

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