Modbook is back, and this time they're taking their tablet converting-ways to the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Modbook has for several years been converting MacBooks into the OS X tablet that Apple has so far not released to the world. They've converted the old white MacBooks and the last generation MacBook Pro. Their attention now has been turned to the Retina MacBook Pro, but they're taking to KickStarter and making things a bit different than before with the Modbook Pro X.
Instead of just converting a MacBook Pro into a pen-enabled tablet as they've done in the past, the proposed Modbook Pro X would be offered with a keyboard-equipped base — something to help balance it out on a desk or lap when the bulk of the system's weight has been moved up into the display. They're also offering a set of programmable buttons on the back of the tablet — "eyes-free keybars" — that you can manipulate while holding and have them appear as an overlay on the screen.
Modbook is promising to bring all of the computing power of the Retina MacBook Pro (which was just refreshed for even more power this week). But it will come at an incredibly steep price. They're looking to raise $150,000 through Kickstarter, which isn't entirely unreasonable. But the lowest level conversion, in which you send in your own 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro for the conversion, rings in at $1,999. If you'd rather just buy a completed package off Modbook, you're looking at an eye-watering $3,999. And adding in the keybars and eyes-free stand bumps things up by another $300 and $390, respectively.
Yeah, it's not cheap. But it'd also be the most absurdly-powerful tablet out there. If you can afford it. But with the success of the iPad, do you think there's still a market for a touch-screen OS X tablet?
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.