‘Modbook Pro X’ turns your 15-inch Retina MacBook into a powerful tablet

By , Jul 30, 2014

modbook 3

Folks longing for a more powerful Apple tablet may want to checkout the new Pro X project from long-time MacBook-modifier Modbook. The company has taken to Kickstarter to market its latest creation—a 15.4″ quad-core tablet with Retina display that runs Mac OS X.

The Modbook Pro X will be available in a number of configurations, based on the new Retina MacBook Pros Apple unveiled just this week. Packages can include a processor as fast as Intel’s 2.8GHz Haswell chip, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 2 terabytes of flash storage…

modbook 2

Each Modbook features a flush-mounted ForceGlass screen with paper-emulating texture, and a crisp 15.4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2880 x 1800. It’s built to be extremely accurate with a stylus with 2,048 pen pressure levels, and features like pen tilt and rotate.

Users will get the full OS X experience on the Pro X, which currently ships with Mavericks. It offers tons of connectivity options including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, two USB 3 ports, one SDXC slot, one HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 2 ports, and even supports external monitors.

If you’re interested in a Modbook, you have a few options. You can send in your late 2013, mid 2014, or newer Retina MacBook and let them transform it starting at $1,999, or you can purchase a complete system starting at $3,999. Stylus and other accessories do cost extra.

As of right now, Modbook’s Kickstarter campaign has only garnered $10,000 of its $150,000 goal, but it’s just the first day. If you’d like to support the project without putting up money for a Modbook, you can chip in $59 for a Stylus, or $139 for a 750GB external hard drive.

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  • http://overreviewtech.blogspot.com/ Sergey Karchmit

    Meh.

    • R4

      Yup, that’s sums it up.

  • Rock Lee

    Don’t need it, don’t want it. This Kickstarter shows exactly why!

    OSX = Desktop/Notebook
    iOS = Mobile (Touch)

    I’d much rather have a great iPad and a great Macbook, than a meh combination.

    • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

      Why Microsoft didn’t understand this logic for Windows 8 just perplexes my brain. No one wants a unified OS.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        I do. I don’t want a bastardized OS running on my tablet; I wouldn’t have bought a tablet in that case.

        Mobile OS doesn’t mean it has to be bastardized in terms of functionality; instead, mobile OS simply implies that it can be run on the mobile form-factors of a PC (Tablet and SmartPhone/PDA are the current mobile form-factors of a PC on the market). Guess what; Windows 8.1 Pro fits that perfectly.

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Windows 8 is actually very “bastardized”. It’s very obvious that it was designed for touch screens and would appear that Microsoft has completely forgotten about mouse and keyboard users. Some settings can only be adjusted through the metro (sorry ‘modern’) settings app…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Sounds like your definition of “bastardized” is “touch-optimized”. That’s not the conventional definition (http://bit ly/UMXb6E). Windows 8′s metro side was at first only fit for touch screens, that’s fixed in Windows 8.1.1; which makes the metro part of Windows usable via mouse and keyboard (http://bit ly/1rRU24a). You weren’t expecting to find that news on iDB, were you?

      • Hyr3m

        Thank god for people with brains :D You saved me a lot of typing today.
        I wasn’t expecting to find that amount of common sense on iDB ^^

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Windows 8 is still awful from a usability standpoint unless your using a touchscreen. The latest update adds a start button and runs apps in a windowed mode but that’s about it. The start screen is still pretty terrible compared to older versions of Windows. It’s great if you use a touchscreen but not many people do…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Windows 8 is still awful from a usability standpoint unless your using a touchscreen

        Coming from the one that uses Mac OS X all day, wouldn’t expect anything less from you.

        The start screen is still pretty terrible compared to older versions of Windows

        In what way? That’s as good as me saying Mac OS X is garbage as whole.

        The functionality of the Start Screen (which is now mouse and keyboard friendly) and Metro Apps replaced both my needs for SideBar widgets AND for docking software (like ObjectDock).

        The new split screen multitasking feature saves me time when I want to multitask, as I don’t need to first “down-size a program’s window > drag it to one side > downsize another program’s window > drag it to the opposite side” in order to do side-by-side multitasking (e.g. b/w my browser, Chrome, and my pdf document reader/editor, Acrobat). Instead, if there’s a metro app that can open either of the stuff I’m multitasking with (e.g. Chrome in Windows 8 mode, or the Reader app), I just “drag it to one half of the screen” and I can multitask while the desktop app remains maximized to the desktop.

        Those are just a few advantages of the Start Screen and Metro apps that I enjoy everyday on my Surface Pro 2.

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        I didn’t think I’d have to explain myself. The start screen is terrible since it doesn’t show all applications you have to go and look for them by first clicking the start button and then clicking “All Applications” and then clicking and dragging the scroll bar until you find what you want and then clicking the application. All of the above requires three or more clicks which is terrible. Compare it to Windows 7 where program’s can be put into folders and program’s can be launched within two clicks and you can easily see how it’s a cumbersome user experience. Windows 8 is great for touchscreen and remote / keyboard but not for the keyboard and mouse. Also desktop program’s look, feel and function completely different to applications. Microsoft might as well have released a refined version of Windows 7 and a touch optimised version of Windows. This way the user experience can be awesome no matter what the users device is. By combining the desktop with touch optimisations you get an ugly hybrid OS that kind of works and kind of doesn’t work depending on your device.

      • Dan

        Uhm, first off, you can bypass the windows 8 start screen automatically and be on the desktop right off the bat (à la windows 7). Second, you can organise your programs in a folder on the desktop if you want. Your argument is invalid.

        Windows 8 is also much faster than windows 7, my PC never booted up in 6 seconds using 7.

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Uhm, first off, you can bypass the windows 8 start screen automatically and be on the desktop right off the bat (à la windows 7). Second, you can organise your programs in a folder on the desktop if you want. Your argument is invalid.

        Another words in order to use the OS efficiently you need to ‘hack’ around every single problem it has. I’d honestly rather use a Linux distro of some sort than Windows. I only use Windows for gaming at that’s only because the industry has a complete inability to create cross-platform games…

      • Dan

        Bypassing the start screen is not a hack, it’s a simple setting, so I don’t see it as much of a problem. I’m simply saying that once you do it once, it’s done, so it’s not big deal. Windows 8 is much faster than windows 7 and works very well. You made it sound as if it was a tangled mess, which it isn’t.

        Personally I use windows since I can actually build my PC (which I couldn’t do with Mac) and as you said, gaming is more oriented to that OS.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        The start screen is terrible since it doesn’t show all applications you have to go and look for them by first clicking the start button and then clicking “All Applications” and then clicking and dragging the scroll bar until you find what you want and then clicking the application. All of the above requires three or more clicks which is terrible. Compare it to Windows 7 where program’s can be put into folders and program’s can be launched within two clicks and you can easily see how it’s a cumbersome user experience.

        Dan has already clearly and briefly stated why that argument is invalid. I’m just gonna tell you that you can press Win + S and simultaneously search for ANYTHING on your PC and/or the Internet.

        Also desktop program’s look, feel and function completely different to applications. Microsoft might as well have released a refined version of Windows 7 and a touch optimised version of Windows.

        So, ’cause they feel a bit different they should be on a totally separate device at an additional charge? K…that’s your cup of tea. Just FYI, there’s ModernMix for $5 if a you’re to resistive to change…

        This way the user experience can be awesome no matter what the users device is. By combining the desktop with touch optimisations you get an ugly hybrid OS that kind of works and kind of doesn’t work depending on your device.

        Awesome for you. Windows 8.1.1 was already a fast, fluent and awesome experience on my 2008 HP Laptop (which I sold when my Surface Pro 2 arrived); before Windows 8.1.1, you’d be reading me saying that that old Laptop would forever be running Windows 7 and that Windows 8 is downgrade for non-touch-equipped PCs. On my Surface Pro 2 (a 2-in-1 device running a 2-in-1 OS), the experience is more enhanced with touch and digitizer pen support.
        All that I’m missing from Windows 7 are some power-user GUIs and Aero. However, IMO, the added functionality and benefits far outweigh the loss.

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Using the search is not the same as using the start menu. It’s like comparing the spotlight on OS X with launchpad…

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Point is, you can already launch whatever app you want fast, which invalidates your claim of it being cumbersome. If you use an app/program so often, simply pin it to the start screen and it’s just a click away.

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        The mouse and keyboard use is so half assed it is ridiculous. it has been improved with the newest update but it should have been like that in the first placed. Did they even test it at all. Also how long does it take to add the old style start menu Microsoft a year?
        /rant

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        The mouse and keyboard use is so half assed it is ridiculous

        In what way? That’s as good as me saying the device support of OS X is so half-assed.

        Or was your English meant to be in past tense? In which case you’d be right.

        it has been improved with the newest update but it should have been like that in the first placed

        Same thing can be said about EVERY new Apple OS X iteration; there’s loads of usability/compatibility bugs with EVERY major release, and those eventually get fixed with some software updates. Unfortunately, many of those usability/compatibility bugs depend on how fast the dev chooses to update their app.

        Did they even test it at all

        Probably as much as Apple tests every major release; mostly for latest hardware.

        Also how long does it take to add the old style start menu Microsoft a year

        Takes only 5 minutes if you can get your head out of your behind and actually google it; if you’re actually in need of it and not just being an ignoramus hater…

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        Not a hater I use Windows 8 on my main computer. I also have a macbook pro. At work I have an iMac that also has windows 7 which I use most of the time. Microsoft really broke the OS when they attempted to unite the touchscreen and desktop. I wouldn’t mind if they did it right the first time instead of keeping us waiting years for .1 updates.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        That’s a risk they were willing to take to create a new device category on which Windows can efficiently be run. Good for them to make that move, ’cause otherwise, I personally wouldn’t have considered a new PC (not at all an tablet), as my 2008 HP Laptop with upgradable internals was still running in top shape for all my virtual machine, simulation, Photoshopping and consumption task needs.

        I too would have preferred if Windows 8.1.1 was the first iteration of Windows 8. Unfortunately, Microsoft is being run by humans and are prone to stupid mistakes. Fortunately, at-least they began thinking outside the place where the sun doesn’t shine and have made Windows 8.1.1 fully usable on all the form-factors of a PC it was designed to be run on (Desktop, Laptop and Tablet). The same thing happened with Vista.

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        You have finally said something I can agree to. If they found a way to do it right in the first place it would have been fine. Unfortunately they chose to beta test the public. It is much better in 8.1.1 albeit still very broken.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        It is much better in 8.1.1 albeit still very broken

        I still have yet to understand your reason for this statement…but to each their own. I find it usable in more situations than Windows 7 Ultimate.

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        Windows 8 and 8.1 is very broken. They give you a virtually unusable start menu(especially when you don’t have a touch screen) and yet a include a desktop mode . have fun finding the desktop app?? Now once in desktop mode how do You shut it down, right switch back to that awful full screen start menu thing. Its even worse from a technician point of view. Lets just put it this way, If you motherboard dies your data is unretrievable. Also The windows 8 key is now on the board so you’ll have to buy a new license.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Windows 8 and 8.1 is very broken. They give you a virtually unusable start menu(especially when you don’t have a touch screen) and yet a include a desktop mode . have fun finding the desktop app??

        Says the one that is too closed minded to adapt change for the better. Using a mouse and keyboard in Windows 8.1.1 is just as good as, if not more efficient than, using it Windows 7. Can have quicker access to more apps and some info is obtainable at just a glance instead of launching a program/apps.

        Regarding the desktop, it’s just a click away by default. Regardless, mindless zombies gonna hate unless it comes from Apple.

        Now once in desktop mode how do You shut it down, right switch back to that awful full screen start menu thing

        Right, pressing the Windows key to get to the power button is harder in Windows 8.1.1 than it was in Windows 7 and lower…the impotent rage just keeps getting more and more ignoramus.

        Its even worse from a technician point of view. Lets just put it this way, If you motherboard dies your data is unretrievable

        WTF are you BSing here?

        Also The windows 8 key is now on the board so you’ll have to buy a new license.

        Says the ignoramus one that’s never restored a Windows 8 PC before and doesn’t care to google it before commenting on it. FYI, the key is automatically generated via the UEFI and removes the need for the user to enter it when restoring/resetting their device.

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        The key for windows 8 Is definitely stored on the motherboard, if you get from behind your computer and did some work you’ll see from a technicians standpoint windows 8 is terrible. As stated to you before I am a tech and have first hand installed Windows 8 quite a few times.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        I used to configure Windows on PCs from scratch as a self-employed job since the Vista era, and Windows 8 isn’t anymore difficult to configure than Windows 7 was. So, unless you can specify what your worry is with Windows 8.1.1 over Windows 7, I’m just going to assume you’re a closed minded technician who’s too afraid of change for the better…

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        Very wrong my friend. Things change to get better but with windows 8 that wasn’t the case. My personal issues with the new OS have been
        1. Dead motherboard means unretrievable data from the locked GPT Hard Drive. Your partition is no longer bootable with a new board so you must wipe it and start from scratch as if you hard drive died.

        With windows 7 and below you had a choice and could use that drive externally incase the OS did not boot correctly.

        2. A corrupted os has the same flaw as reason 1. If a virus/malware prevents it from booting say good bye to that data. Safe mode is not always accessed buy keyboard keys. and Most of the time it corrupts those partitions so you can’t restore in the first place. Leaving the refresh PC and Restore useless.

        3: Reinstalling takes some tech no how. The user can’t easily access the boot menu nor know how to change the UFEI setting to get it to install.

        I appreciate the thought Microsoft but somethings just shouldn’t have been fixed especially when they were not broken.

  • Steven Code

    I’m sad to say but I think this gonna fail

  • Foellarbear

    It looks kinda chunky. Basically just a cheap looking tablet PC.

  • Gucciipad

    Chapter 11 soon

  • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

    What’s the warranty and repairs like? Doubt Apple would honour the warranty on a completely modified MacBook Pro, nor would they repair it if something goes wrong…

  • Adam Bowman

    Sheesh… That connection between the tablet and the keyboard does not look like it will hold up.

  • Neil Sardesai

    A mobile touch + desktop all-in-one combination has never worked. This is like the Surface Pro, but even worse.

    • Agru

      The Surface Pro is a great device

  • http://gottchtech.blogspot.dk August Ebbesen

    Sure, I would definitely destroy my MB to make into a possibly horrible PC tablet.

  • ✯Mike✯

    it’ll never work. that’s why people hate windows 8

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      Most people I’ve come across hate Windows 8 ’cause it’s a change to the way you use Windows; no more start menu, metro apps now take up the whole screen, etc.

      I hated it ’cause it came with Laptop-only PCs when it was clearly not fit for non-touchscreen use. Also, it was lacking power-user UIs from Windows 7 (eg. Network management).

      Most of that is fixed in Windows 8.1.1 (http://bit ly/1rRU24a), I’m only missing the GUI for creating Ad-Hoc networks and managing duplicate SSIDs. Thankfully, there’s 3rd party GUIs for the Ad-Hoc network, for the duplicate SSIDs though, have to go the Linux route and use the command line and/or registry.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Interesting stuff, a tablet more powerful than a Mac Pro. Starting at $3999 though, it sure isn’t for everyone, including me.

    • rasiquiz

      Edit* The Late 2013 Macbook Pro 15″ is faster than a Mac Pro from 2012…

  • Esteban Gonzalez

    but can i get apple care on this??? XD

  • mark

    I thought Apple would be pissed about running OS X on other hardware?

  • Dan

    Way too expensive for my taste, I’d rather have a macbook and tablet than this Frankenstein’s creation.

  • CS

    Haven’t we already seen one of these fail?

  • Chetan

    Very good work but it will be the only tablet which can’t sense fingers on screen and secondly will eat up my precious macbook.. If someone want this functionality with power of OSX but without portability then connect a 4k screen in ur table and use a touch pen..

    Undoubtably a great piece of work by the company but somewhere it loses on concept. We get so much to lose (money + macbook) just for a touch pen functionality on screen.

  • FreeBSD

    Why on earth would you change $2000 or more macbook/macbook pro change into a tablet and pay a additional $2000 to have it changed into a non-descriptive tablet? I mean the idea is not bad, but lets be honest, apart from the quality of Macbook Air, Pro and alike nothing can beat that quality and somehow having a Apple, Macbook Air/Pro makes a statement.

    As an avid Mac user there is nothing better and as far as I am concerned everything windows is a very expensive mistake, not to mentioned its still DOS-based. Powershell? hahahaha thats a laugh