Pros Faster & with more RAM than most PC slates, can also run Window or Vista
Cons A bit heavy; portrait not (yet) working in OS X; Bluetooth requires dongle.
Summary I've been using my ModBook since January 30, 2008. Build quality and engineering design are excellent. It's a fully functional Mac running OS X 10.5.2, with a 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 GB RAM and a 200 GB 7200 rpm HD. So it's faster than my two other work computers, a Power Mac G5 with 2.3 GHz dual core CPU and a first-generation MacBook Pro with 2.0 GHz CPU and 2 GB RAM.
I've wanted a tablet Mac for a long time for convenient entry of text notes, equations and diagrams, and for filling out forms. Apple's Ink works reasonably well for handwritten notes, although I expect a more capable handwriting recognition application through Axiotron in a few months. The Quickclicks onscreen keyboard has a numeric keypad, and that works well for entering spreadsheet numerical data.
The weight of the ModBook is about the same as the weight of my MacBook Pro, so that's a wash. The form factor of the ModBook makes it much easier to use in coach airline seating and especially in my lap than any clamshell laptop design. Although there's a glitch in using Apple's built-in Bluetooth, a $25 Bluetooth dongle inserted into a USB port lets me use a wireless keyboard and mouse for heavy-duty text entry. In that mode the ModBook sits on a $10 bookstand on my desk.
I work with large document databases and need lots of RAM and hard drive space. So I can't use the new MacBook Air, as it doesn't have enough power. I understand that Axiotron has no current plans to adapt to the MacBook Air for that reason.
The inability to rotate to portrait display mode isn't currently available. I'm less disappointed by that than I had expected, as I've been used to working with landscape displays anyway. This shouldn't be a problem for artists, as they can draw or paint from any orientation.
Lack of a portrait mode isn't a hardware limitation. Under an appropriate version of Windows XP or Vista portrait mode works fine on the ModBook.
One point the CNET review didn't mention is the ModBook's capability of running under Windows or Vista. In that mode, the ModBook is more powerful and faster than the majority of PC tablets, and so doesn't represent a price penalty by comparison to PC tablets that might compete on speed and memory. For artists, the ModBook has twice the range of pressure sensitivity compared to PC tablets.
Pros Great in bed (Seriously. It is great for kicking back and checking email or whatnot).
Cons Fan runs constantly.
Summary Tablets are much more personal than "personal" computers.
Pros Fills a Mac niche market that has been absent
Cons Permanent Portrait mode, heavy, huge premium
Summary Ok. I'll first say I am a big fan of the Apple design. It is often deserving of the term "beautiful".
That being said, I am disappointed on the relatively high score given to the modbook.
I don't think there is anything "ingenius" about the design; it is exactly what PC slate tablets are and have been done for several years now. It is definitely a convenience to have GPS/slot loading burner built in, however, I am sure the lack of software support for portrait mode is a large letdown for those who are looking into the mac tablet niche market.
Additionally, @ 5.2 lbs, this is in no way a tablet that is conveniently carried around for long periods of time... not to mention that the battery is subpar compared to normal macbooks.
I am not saying that this is a terrible entry into the tablet market, but there are several features that are unrefined.
Now if they would convert the macbook air into a tablet and provided portrait support, I think that would be deserving of the term "ingenius design".
Pros The ONLY mac tablet, wacom digitizer, 512 levels of pressure sensitivity,
Cons not a convertable, builtin bluetooth issues on the mac side, mac side doesnt have screen rotation
Summary Axiotron made one mistake, the lack of a keyboard and trackpad for secondary input. But they are mainly targeting artists with this. Its not all bad. The bluetooth keyboard from mac can be paired with a mightymouse, and a bluetooth dongle until the issue is fixed causing the bluetooth not to function on the mac side - apparently it does work on windows running bootcamp or parallels - eliminating the need for the dongle. The screen does not rotate out of landscape mode in mac mode, but will rotate while running windows. Essentially you get all the benefits of a windows slate, with the added features of a mac. so its kind of win some lose some, having to carry a bluetooth keyboard to classes and such. Not always a bad thing, you can gain access to both pen input and keyboard input without wearing out a little hinge. I am a huge fan of the toshiba convertables however. but im pretty sure i'll go with one of these, fully loaded from axiotron, through carbon computing for 3788.40 canadian without shipping but including GST.
The screen is pretty much indestructible from what i've read, and the scratch resistant triple metal coating is a nice touch - could have looked cleaner if they would have redone the whole body with it, but oh well.