Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Modified Mac

Thanks for reminding me to mention this modbook Ive been sitting on for the last month or so. They tear off the screen of a 2.4 Ghz macbook and replace the keyboard and track pad with what essentially is 13 inch wacom cintiq digitizer- so basically its a slate style tablet running leopard with the 512 levels of pressure sensitivity and surface texture of the cintiq. Ive been using this program alias/autodesk made for tablet pc's called Sketchbook pro- its a really great sketch application, the interface is super simple- just a few tools which takes a minimal amount of screen space. When I take something beyond the sketch phase, I import to photoshop, but for sketching on site or on the couch the sketchbook pro program is way better. Ive used quite a few tablet pcs, but none of them have as good of an actual drawing surface (its usually slick and plastic-y feeling) and I can really tell the difference between the 256 levels of pressure of all the tablet pc's, and the 512 of this mac modbook. Its probably the most impressive thing the surface and screen sensitivity. Also, the modbook has an internal dvd/cd drive which is absent for the entire field of tablet pc's. I could care less about whats better- the macs or the pc's, but you know- I really like the latest leopard operating system- its clearly way better than Microsoft Vista which is terrible on my other tablet pc.
Some people think the modbook is heavy and gets really hot, well, its heavy and gets really hot but not any heavier than the macbook and not any hotter. I have had some issues where the cursor will jump to the apple icon all by itself- which is definitely a big problem people are having (and the company who does the modification doesnt seem to be able to do anything about it)- but it seems to have recently stopped jumping.
So that jumping cursor and the fact that I waited over a year to receive the actual modbook both leave me a bit sour on the transaction- at the same time, its a brilliant piece of hardware and Im really really happy with it.


JC said...

woah Ian, that's a funky new toy you got there!
I'm concerned about the heat too, as i've used a tablet before and it drove me nuts as i drew my hand got so hot.
has it been a problem??? I'd love to get one again, if it doesnt have that problem on the surface - i waste FAR too much paper.

enb said...

hey there james- not hot on the drawing surface but hot on the bottom- which i dont mind too much- its like having a cat on your lap!
kate has a regular macbook and it gets hot in the same way. put a macbook on your lap and you can see. i wish you and i were neighbors so you could give the modbook a test drive. with the sketchbook pro software its really an awesome tool. miles ahead of the very best of the tablet pcs. and so nice not to have a workstation and all those screens cluttering up my small nyc apartment.

JC said...

well, Ian, that' does sound pretty good. i wish we were neighbors too =0) - i could use a sketching/painting partner here in Vancouver. guess i have to move back to NY!

i'll definitely check out the tablet.

Gerald said...

Yeah, those modbooks are amazing. I only got to use one for 5 days, but glad to hear you finally got one in the mail. I see you've posted some digital work already!