Want a Windows tablet? You can pick one up for under $200. Want an OS X tablet? Apple doesn’t sell any… the company’s tablets run iOS.

But if you want the power of a MacBook Pro in a tablet-shaped package, you may be able to get one… for about $4,000.

modbook pro x_04

A company called Modbook has been converting Apple laptops into tablets for years. Now they’re running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Modbook Pro X project.

Basically the goal is to give you a way to convert a 15.4 MacBook Pro with Retina display into a tablet or buy a pre-built system… for a steep price.

A pre-built Modbook Pro X runs $3999 and up during the crowdfunding campaign. If you send the company your MacBook and they’ll convert it to a tablet. But not only do you have to pay $1,999 or more to get the cheapest tablet option, but you’ll have to pay $1,999 or more for a MacBook Pro with Retina display.

That said, there’s really nothing else on the market quite like a Modbook Pro X. Once a laptop is converted it becomes a 15.4 inch tablet with a 2880 x 1800 pixel display, an active digitizer and digital pen with support for 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, up to an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor with Iris Pro graphics or optional NVIDIA GeForece GT 750M graphics, and up to 32GB of RAM.

Modbook hopes to raise at least $150,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and plans to deliver the first modified tablets in early 2015. After the crowdfunding campaign ends the starting price of a Modbook Pro X is expected to go up to $2599 and the cost of a pre-built system will go up to $4,599.

The team also offers premium options including “eyes-free keybars” which means the back of the tablet has a split QWERTY keyboard with half the keys on the left and the other half on the write. You can hold the tablet in two hands and type with your fingertips without seeing the keys.

An Ultimate model has the keybards and a keyboard stand that lets you use the system like a desktop.

Modbook also offers its own warranties, since taking apart a MacBook and turning it into a tablet will obviously void any warranty Apple may provide.

It’s probably not fair to compare the ModBook Pro X with a cheap Windows tablet like the Toshiba Encore 2 or Asus VivoBook Note 8. It’s more like a DIY, OS-X version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which sells for $799 to $1,949.

But there’s still no getting around the fact that a tablet like the Modbook would probably be a lot cheaper if Apple would just sell an OS X tablet so that other companies didn’t have to take apart notebooks and rebuild them just to make a tablet that runs Apple’s desktop operating system.

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7 replies on “Modbook wants to turn your MacBook Pro into a tablet (for $1999)”

  1. Might as well get something that has better specs and a screen thats already optimized to draw on. Cough cough* Surface pro 3…

  2. Why don’t they do this with the MBA? They’re so much lighter and tablet-like to begin with.

  3. The idea is a bit 2008. Why would you even want a 3kg tablet to begin with? Not that it matters, Apple lawyers will probably nuke the project into oblivion.

    1. Oh they’ve been doing this for a couple of years now. Maybe close to a decade?
      This is mostly for artists and graphic designers. It is all about having a native mac-wacom hybrid, as opposed to having a separate Cintiq display.

      1. Yeah-the company’s been around since 2009 at least; I remember finding them on the web then. Still a pretty specialized sort of device, obviously.

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