Sure, the Apple iPad turned out to be a 10 inch tablet with a speedy new ARM-based processor and basically the same operating system as the iPhone and iPod touch (with a few tweaks to take advantage of the larger screen). But during the last few years a ton of rumors had leaked about a different kind of Apple tablet. You know, one that ran a full version of OS X and could handle software that wasn’t designed to run on a smartphone or portable media player.

Sure, the more we learn about the iPad, and the more people use it, the more it becomes clear that Apple’s vision for tablets its different from its vision for laptop and desktop computers. OS X is designed for keyboard and mouse input, and the iPhone and iPad are designed for touch input. When you look at things that way, it becomes clear that a tablet running OS X software which was never really designed for finger input might just be a bad idea. But that hasn’t stopped people from hacking their own OS X tablets over the years.

Now an Illinois Pennsylvania-based company called Axon Logic plans to introduced a $500 tablet that runs OS X. What’s more, it will reportedly have a faster processor and more connectivity options than the iPad — despite the fact that it will carry the same low price tag as the iPad. How does a Core 2 Duo processor, 3 USB ports and a webcam sound? A little too good to be true? It probably is.

Apple hasn’t been too kind to companies that preload OS X on non-Apple hardware before shipping it. Axon Logic’s idea is to ship an OS X Snow Leopard DIY Kit so you can install the OS yourself — but I’d be surprised if that prevents the company from getting sued into oblivion.

CrunchGear reports that the Axon Logic tablet could be available within the next few months. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.

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12 replies on “Could a $500 hackintosh tablet be the iPad you thought you wanted?”

  1. Great as far as it is light (400 to 600) and small (if possible, pocketable, or at least no larger than the Sony Vaio P).

  2. Hi, I am the President of the ‘Mysterious, Too good to be true’ company. We are based in PA, btw. The tablets name is the Axon Haptic, and currently it has an Intel Atom, with the Intel Core 2 Duo estimated to be released in Dec. Since it uses a stylus, it actually runs great. It also has Windows 7 and Ubuntu…

  3. What they really should do is take existing hardware that is already easily Hack-able to OS-X…like the Dell mini, and offer to sell bran new units that have been modified into a tablet form factor.

    At the very least they could perceptibly sell a windows based device…or even a device with Ubuntu Linux to save on software cost’s…and make sure the hardware and drivers are easily hackable to run OSX, obtainable via other non-official route’s 😉

  4. You know what I have NO problem with iPad except that it costs too much. That really is it for my reserve.

    Locked down? Fine that can be helpful in some ways. No multitasking? Fine most people actually don’t multi task at all they only think they do. Part of a dark ‘Star Chamber’ that is ensuring that all consumers pay for every bit of content through micro payments? Okay, that sucks; but so do taxes.

    The big issue for me is that 16GB unit that is just wi-fi should cost $350. Apple made a damn nice touch screen environment and it seems to work. Win 7 and OSX aren’t really great touch screen environments. Android could get there and maybe Chrome could too, but at this point Apple is the only one doing it integrated right.

    The problem is if it traps my data and requires another computer to update then it shouldn’t cost 5 bills! Five bills for something that can’t live and operate by itself? No way. Sell it at gadget prices and then sure, but shackled to another computer to work is a no-go.

    1. Agreed, I like the iPad concept and the only thing keeping me from buying one NOW (well, other than the fact that they’ve just announced I won’t be able to buy one in Canada until May) is the price. At $399 Cdn, I’d buy one right away.

      Having said that, I’d be very curious to see how well this Axon Logic device sells, and if they play it smart and not market it as an OS X tablet (which is basically inviting failure by lawsuit), it could get interesting.

  5. Umm, this was a horrible business decision.

    A) Apple will crush them because of this.

    B) Having a non-touch optimized OS is still absolutely HORRIBLE for a touch only tablet. I don’t care how much you love your Desktop OS whatever it happens to be. Without touch input optimization and most importantly a community of software developers making touch optimized software for that device, it’s just not going to work out.

    So kudos to these guys for differentiating your product, by bundling generic hardware with software that will be in violation of the terms of service the second it’s installed, despite the fact that Apple has clearly, consistently, and quite successfully quashed every company who has tried to do this before using strong arm tactics and when those failed in actual courts of law. I don’t like Apple, I despise their tactics, but this is business suicide, and worse, I don’t need to use it to know that it’s going to fall into the dust rack of devices time forgot.

    Maybe they’ll wise up and put a touch friendly distro of Linux on it… that might make for a compelling device.

  6. I doubt it will be successful, there needs to be a custom version of OS X, that is calibrated to the touch

  7. With a core 2 duo it’ll need 6 lbs of batteries just to make it past the 4 hour mark….there are no free rides, if you want a do anything device expect to make other sacrifices.

    1. I don’t know. The Asus UL20A notebook has a Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor
      *and* a keyboard and it gets about 6 to 8 hours of battery life with Windows
      7 Home Premium.

  8. I wish they would just sell the hardware blank and let us put our own OS on it. No chance of a lawsuit then…

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