You'd be forgiven for assuming that the ModBook dream died with release of the first iPad. After all, the first version of the hacked notebook predated Apple's announcement by a couple of years. When the iPad finally hit in 2010, it did a lot to address the desire for a slate device running Apple software. Since then, things have largely remained silent on the Axiotron front. In fact, the last time we heard a significant peep out of the company was back in 2009. Its former CEO Andreas Haas assured us, however, that the real reason for the company's silence is a bit more complicated than the story of yet another product falling victim to the Apple steamroller.
"Axiotron itself was a great company," says Haas. "Back in 2008, I took the company public, everything was really great. There was one little thing that turned out to be a huge problem, which is that the company was largely bank-financed and 10 days after it went public, Lehman Brothers went belly-up and put the whole financial market in a tailspin. After that was mostly spent on trying to somehow restructure the company, and ultimately there was just nothing that could be done about it."
As the newly reborn Modbook Inc. teased via its Facebook page yesterday, however, the name lives on. This week marks the return of the tablet in the form of the 13.3-inch Modbook Pro, a device slated to ship early this fall. Can such a device survive in a world that's been downright flooded by tablets in the years since its predecessor's release? The company clearly feels it can -- that its new product is unique enough to set itself apart in amongst the deluge of slates, calling the new Pro, "the world's most powerful and largest-screen tablet computer." And in a space where hardware and software are relatively neutered, it's understandable how the company might be inclined to make such bold claims about the converted notebook.