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It’s likely you’ve heard mention of the Axiotron Modbook, the third party (and only) Apple tablet computing solution, but I like talking about it anyway. Axiotron, a small company operating out of El Segundo, California, won high acclaim for their Modbook, taking best in show at 2007’s Macworld convention.
The Modbook is a converted Macbook, equipped with a Wacom-penabled touchscreen display. It’s a drool-worthy piece of tech, especially for graphic designers who do a lot of field work. And now you can drool even more, because the Modbook now comes complete with Sketchbook Express 2009, an exclusive version of Autodesk’s graphics software.
If you work with Wacom tablets in any kind of graphic design/illustration capacity, then you’ve probably also heard of Sketchbook Pro, formerly of Alias, until it was acquired by Autodesk. Sketchbook Pro 2009 was released earlier this year, finally bringing Intel compatibility to the versatile graphics editing software. I’d previously been a huge fan of Sketchbook Pro, but switched to Corel Painter when the program wouldn’t work on my black MacBook. Getting Sketchbook Pro 2009 was like hooking up with an old friend after a lengthy absence. The Express edition that bundles with the Modbook features much of the functionality of the full version, but users are limited to three layers, whereas the full version supports unlimited stacking.
Currently, Axiotron only offers their service for pre-aluminum MacBooks (no MacBook Pros, either), but they’ve recently committed to supporting new models in the new year. You can get a Modbook either by ordering one directly from Axiotron, or by buying Modservice, which uses your existing MacBook for the conversion. Existing Modbook owners can pick up SketchBook Express free by clicking the download link on the application overview page.
Modbooks start at $2,199, while Modservice using your existing notebook starts at $1,299. Not a bad idea if you have oodles of cash lying around and you’ve just upgraded to a new MacBook and haven’t found a use for your last gen model.