January 16th, 2008

Apple introduces the MacBook Air... wait, what?

I'm a little disappointed by Apple's Macworld Keynote Presentation. I was holding out hope for the long shot of a MacBook Touch or some other similarly named Apple Tablet. Instead we get an ultra-portable and some other arguably spiffy goodies - none of which I need or want, though.

See, I want to take my art production mobile. Mainly so I can do color commissions at conventions, but also so I can go sit on my sofa and draw Ishikaze pages or go sit outside somewhere and work on Mouse Guest art. But, I've grown accustomed to using the ol' Wacom Tablet, so just a simple laptop won't do.

And I refuse to use Windows.

I guess, then, I've got three options. The most prudent of them being:

1) Save my money and wait until Apple introduces a Tablet sometime next century.

Steve Jobs has already admitted he thinks there's no market for Tablet PCs, which means Apple follows suit. And I'll agree that the market would be small - it'd be me, a dozen other artists and a couple Mac Geek executives who want something cool to show off at the office. But, dangit, I want one.

Some folks, however, have realized there's this little niche market, and came out with something that could, in theory, appease this little sect I'm in.

2) Get a ModBook.

This little company has taken some MacBooks and modded them with a touch-screen display. It looks pretty spiffy. The trouble is, I want to try one out before I fork over the $2500 for one. Being that it's base is a simple Consumer MacBook, I'm not sure it's powerful enough to run Flash or Photoshop at a usable rate. Plus, I'd want to see how the Ink interface works and all that jazz. Unfortunately, I can't just go out to the Apple Store and play with the display model - since it's a third-party mod, there's next to no chance Apple would carry it in their stores, and I don't think any other store out there would sell them, either. It's all mail-order, which is a problem for try-it-before-you-buy-it types, like me.

However, logic says it should be similar to using a Wacom Tablet with a MacBook. If any of you out there use Flash on a MacBook with a Tablet, and it works, let me know.

Then, there's the third option.

3) Get a MacBook Pro and hook up a Wacom Tablet.

I know Pros run Flash. I know Wacom Tablets work, because I own one. The drawback for this is that having two pieces makes things a little less mobile. I would need a table or desk to set the laptop on at least, which means no sofa drawing, no whipping it out at a coffee shop to do some doodling... It would work for conventions and such, but that's only half the reason I'm looking at a laptop to begin with.

So, it's a conundrum. It's an idea I'm tossing around, so I'm not, like, making big purchases any time soon. But, any advice would be appreciated.
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