OWC MacBook Tablet for PC?

Discussion in 'Axiotron Modbook' started by kureshii, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Bucc-i

    Bucc-i Toshiba M200 Junkie

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    I was on Cnet a couple of days ago when I was this article:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10080078-1.html

    Other World Computer (OWC) has a kit that can turn any MacBook into a tablet. :eek: This is amazing! Does anyone know of a company that does the same thing to PC laptops???
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    No, because it's not possible.
    And OWC also does not support any MacBook, only a specific model (it's limited to Apple and to only one model from Apple):
    So how should a company be able to create such a kit for the thousands different designed notebooks out there? And why should someone buy this kit if he can also buy an already built tablet PC, which is much better optimized for being a tablet than a modded notebook?
     
  3. Bucc-i

    Bucc-i Toshiba M200 Junkie

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    Optimized for being a tablet???:confused: The only thing that makes a tablet a tablet instead of a laptop is the stylus screen and the OS. Thats it. You could make any laptop a tablet if it had the stylus screen (dont know if thats what they call it, but i will call it for lack of a better word).
     
  4. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    It's not that simple.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    because I also don't know what you mean with stylus screen I made a small incomplete list of a few differences:
    - Heat, you have to improve the cooling system, because the tablet PC should be cooler and should not heat up the display (else it gets damaged), you'll loose the heatink "keyboard" in a slate. And most notebooks can get hot.
    - Tablet buttons should also be supported in BIOS, so you have to supply a new BIOS
    - The display should have perfect viewing angles, else the tablet PC is quite useless (and now tell me a few large screens with pefect viewing angles, like those BEO-Hydis displays)
    - The digitizer. Wacom only produces a few sizes, they don't support 15", 12" 16:9, ... You also have to shield the digitizer, else you will get a cursor drift, like some slates, like the ModBook have/had
    - Build quality. Most notebooks use plastic, I don't think that you want a plastic tablet which breaks apart if you carry it around.
    - Different case size. Each notebook has other dimensions, so a company can't produce a kit which fits for more than one model simultaneously
    - you will also have to create a place for the pen silo.
    - battery life. 90% of notebooks have poor battery life compared to tablet PCs, so how do you solve this.

    So in the end a company could sell such kits for maybe a few notebooks which are upgradeable. Because those notebooks are more sub notebooks and already expensive, no one would buy a kit for maybe 1500$. And in the end they have a slate, which wasn't designed to be a slate, so it will always have some problems.

    It's just a if you take a normal car and make a cabriolet out of it. It will work, it will be expensive, almost no one will buy this "kit", but it won't be as optimized for being a cabriolet as a cabriolet which was designed to be a cabriolet from the begining.
     
  6. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Macs are standardised and would be easier to mod into a "tablet"; can you come up with a reliable procedure for modding any of the thousands of windows-based laptop configs into a tablet? Didn't think so.

    Tablets/convertibles differ enough from normal laptops that you can't really mod one into the other easily. Just the digitiser, and heat issues (most normal laptops also sink some heat through the keyboard, but tablets can't do that in slate mode), is enough to cause some headache. If you've wondered why tablets with active digitiser displays always have such thick screens, it's because digitisers aren't at all slim.

    In addition to the differences Frank outlined, you'll need a 2-DOF hinge which can last/outlast the tablet (that hinge is much sturdier and heavier than just about any normal laptop hinge I've seen; the 2-DOF requirement also complicates the design compared to normal laptop hinges, which are 1-DOF).

    And don't forget that the screen bezel should ideally be flush with the screen for optimal writing; flush bezels are not easy to design. You'll also need a tough, scratch-proof covering on top of the screen if you intend it for use with a stylus.

    Most slim laptop screens don't have any buttons on the screen chassis, to save space (so they can slim it for sexiness). Can't do that with a tablet; like Frank mentioned, you need tablet buttons, and also the power button. That's more circuitry and driver-writing, which isn't likely to come cheap.

    If a laptop-to-tablet conversion kit/service was offered at a price lower than the "tablet premium" (self-coined term for the price difference between similarly-specced laptop and tablet) I wouldn't trust it. You're better off with a tablet PC designed to be a tablet PC, than a laptop that tries to be one.

    The modbook seems to save much of the cost by making it fully slate-based; but it looks like most users would rather have a convertible than a slate.
     
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