No XL iPod touch pro or fabled Apple tablets at the Philnote. Too bad, because I want one badly. Maybe the new pen and touch-enabled Modbook Pro will do.

The new version of the Modbook is made of machined aluminum, finished in black. While its design is clearly not Jon Ive's, the 0.93-inch Modbook Pro is thinner than the Macbook it is based on, and more elegant and straightforward than their previous model.

The new guts include a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Nvidia GeForce® 9600M GT graphics, but the most important thing in a tablet computer is the surface itself. At 15.4-inch WXGA display, it is larger than the 12-inch Cintiq Wacom I reviewed and it has something that the Wacom or the original Modbook don't have: It's touch sensing.

The Modbook Pro uses a technology called Synergy Touch, which combines the pressure-pen Wacom system with direct and simultaneous touch input. They don't say if it supports multitouch gestures in Mac OS X or Windows, but the multiple input is great news.


The only bad thing is its price. At $4,999 for the model based on the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro, this thing is prohibitively expensive as far as tablet PCs go. It's not surprising, since they are done by hand-there's a Modservice Pro that will reconvert your MacBook Pro into a Modbook Pro for $3,049-but still hard to justify looking at the alternatives from other PC manufacturers.

Hopefully, Apple will eventually supersize the iPod touch. When they do, I hope they go the other way around and add pressure-sensitive pen input to it. [Axiotron]