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Axon Logic teases Mac OS X slate

Axon Logic teases Mac OS X slate

The concept artwork for Axon Logic's hackintosh slate doesn't offer much detail, but will likely interest Apple's lawyers.

Clearly having not paid much attention to the troubles of hackintosh retailer Psystar, an Illinois-based startup has announced its plans to offer a tablet running a full version of Mac OS X - without Apple's approval.

Feeling something between a cut-price version of Axiotron's ModBook tablet - a completely legitimate device constructed from the remains of a custom MacBook - and your average homebrew hackintosh, Axon Logic's device is designed to offer a full Mac OS X experience at the same price point as the cut-down iPad.

Aiming for a $500 retail price, CrunchGear claims that the slate will feature "netbook specs" - which most likely means a 1.6GHz Atom-based processor, around 1-2GB of RAM, and either a 2.5" mechanical hard drive or an 8-16GB SSD. Unlike the rather feature-free iPad, Axon Logic's device will offer a trio of USB ports and an integral webcam. Interestingly, the company claims that future revisions of the hardware will feature a Core 2 Duo processor - which would perform significantly faster than the 1GHz chip found in the iPad.

That is, if the company stays around long enough for a second revision: unlike Axiotron's ModBook, which uses original Apple hardware with Mac OS X already legitimately installed, Axon Logic's device relies on a modified BIOS to allow Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware - a breach of the terms and conditions under which Apple licenses its software. As a result, it's likely to find itself feeling the heat of Apple's legal team - despite claims that it will offer the operating system as an install-it-yourself option rather than pre-installed.

Is this the device that the iPad should have been? Could you see yourself spending the money on a slate if it runs Mac OS X, or would it have to come with the official Apple seal of approval? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
stonedsurd 13th April 2010, 11:33 Quote
Conventional OS + touch-only interface = bad idea.

When will people wake the hell up and realize that if you're going to implement touch, it needs to be from the ground up?
Picarro 13th April 2010, 11:35 Quote
Crappy form factor, crappy OS?

No thx.
proxess 13th April 2010, 11:45 Quote
How about a WePad??
eddtox 13th April 2010, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
Conventional OS + touch-only interface = bad idea.

When will people wake the hell up and realize that if you're going to implement touch, it needs to be from the ground up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
Crappy form factor, crappy OS?

No thx.

Agree with both those comments. Also, I very much doubt they will be able to match the iPad for battery life, even without taking into consideration the C2Duo model. Moreover, what's to stop Apple releasing an 'update' to OSX which detects this BIOS hack and disables the OS?

Anyway, why OSX? Does it have better touch features than 7?

Edit: wepad looks quite nice, but without a price and proper pictures it could be a long way away.
theskirrid 13th April 2010, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
Conventional OS + touch-only interface = bad idea.

Windows 7 on an old TC4200 is brilliant for me. Both Vista and 7 are parpingly good with touch only [admittedly with a stylus].

Is OSX really that much better? Nope.

Another company cashing in on the shiny purchase mob. Yawn.
Stotherd-001 13th April 2010, 12:04 Quote
windows 7 has better touch features than most people think... its a feature of the OS. Definitely better than OSX anyway...
harveypooka 13th April 2010, 14:58 Quote
These in-depth discussions and commentaries regarding the failings of Mac OS X will undoubtedly help to end the age old debate.

Oh, and cheese flavoured crisps are crap.
dyzophoria 13th April 2010, 17:51 Quote
Quote:
Anyway, why OSX? Does it have better touch features than 7?

because stupid people has a stupid notion that Apple is always greater than MS
Sloth 13th April 2010, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theskirrid
Windows 7 on an old TC4200 is brilliant for me. Both Vista and 7 are parpingly good with touch only [admittedly with a stylus].

Is OSX really that much better? Nope.

Another company cashing in on the shiny purchase mob. Yawn.
From limited experience window shopping and poking around at demo products I agree. Feels pretty natural, especially when dragging around windows. Never used OS X with a touch screen but I doubt it'd be bad, the little dock would probably be pretty neat with touch capability. Also really love that it has USB ports. Gotta see what the battery life is like on it, though. Nexxo if you're reading this I call it another step in the right direction!*

*that is not to say the iPad is a step in the wrong direction (it's more like the first step), but that this is what devices of that sort should become as slates evolve, in my mind. More like keyboard-less netbooks you could say.
1ad7 13th April 2010, 20:54 Quote
I dont want osx... now a 500 dollar windows slate? thats a great idea!
alpaca 14th April 2010, 00:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxess
How about a WePad??

if my netbook decides it has worked hard enough and retires, this looks like a promising successor...
null_x86 20th April 2010, 00:58 Quote
Lol, anyone look at the specs on the machine? An Atom, 3x USB, 8-16GB SSD. Sounds like a Dell Mini 9 stripped down to me. I'll pass and just make the tablet myself.
Cepheus 8th May 2010, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by null_x86
Lol, anyone look at the specs on the machine? An Atom, 3x USB, 8-16GB SSD. Sounds like a Dell Mini 9 stripped down to me. I'll pass and just make the tablet myself.

Or most other netbooks, let's be honest
PureSilver 8th May 2010, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
When will people wake the hell up and realize that if you're going to implement touch, it needs to be from the ground up?

^ This, but also this;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stotherd-001
windows 7 has better touch features than most people think... its a feature of the OS..

7's touch features were developed from the ground up, as an extension of the functionality enabled in Vista. They're really pretty good with a stylus at least - I've never tried with a finger but I'm sure an update or two could add multitouch and gesture control (if they aren't there already there, actually?) in no time. Windows 7 is touted as an OS with touch functionality; I really don't understand why they don't just add a Linux distro and let users add 7 if they think it'll run on the Atom. With the Psystar precedent, the makers have GOT to know that this hackintosh stuff just doesn't work in the long term.
Nexxo 8th May 2010, 20:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
From limited experience window shopping and poking around at demo products I agree. Feels pretty natural, especially when dragging around windows. Never used OS X with a touch screen but I doubt it'd be bad, the little dock would probably be pretty neat with touch capability. Also really love that it has USB ports. Gotta see what the battery life is like on it, though. Nexxo if you're reading this I call it another step in the right direction!
I am reading this, but I think it is a step in the dead-end direction. Same problems as the HP Slate: power-hungry OS not to touch screen use running on underpowered hardware. Expect battery life to be poor.

Neither Windows 7 nor OS X are suitable for touch. Apart from the fact that you always have to use a stylus, there is fiddly little buttons and tickboxes and fiddly little pull-down menus. There is left-click and right-click and hover. A touch screen does not accommodate all that --it's a very different interaction. So (I observe from videos that) Windows 7 uses a double tap to select (awkward --it has to be more or less bang on the same spot to work), a hold to summon right-click and has no hover capability. The icons, buttons, tick boxes and pull-downs make the whole experience kind of fiddly.

Compare this with videos of the iPad: simple, intuitive, fluid. On a low power CPU.

Sorry, but even if it survives iSue, it will join its HP Slate brother in extinction. Mobile low-power Hardware simply is not fast enough yet.

Moreover it is still just "let's use a finger instead of a mouse" GUI. If you think of Minority Report you'll get the idea of how touch could by much more than a mouse replacement. I'm not just thinking tap, flick, multi-touch pinch/stretch or even drawing gestures, but also rotate with three fingers, press with the palm of the hand e.g. to freeze, finalise or validate, wipe with the palm of the hand to move desktop, wipe with edge of hand to e.g. erase or clear the screen, knock with the knuckle of a finger to open; knock a specific rhythm for unlock/lock.

Apple got it right by using fat, chunky slide-switches instead of fiddly buttons or boxes, and having a rolling cylinder instead of a pull-down menu. We should also be going beyond icons as static pictures. Imagine cubes that you flip over to summon different modes of an action or task (flip the Word cube down to open a new document; flip it sideways to summon the document window so you can tap on which document you want Word to open; flip it up to summon its settings window. Flip it back to its original orientation to kill the application).

Or imagine this: few stack-like icons like: Documents, Contacts, Pictures, Applications. Drag one to the middle of the desktop. Wipe the palm of your hand in an arc over the stack to fan out the individual items, like a deck of cards. Flip the 'card' of the document, contact, picture or app you want out of the deck. The OS then offers a few simple tap-able choices depending on the item: open, copy, e-mail, call, run, whatever.

Imagine scrolling through a time-line of your activities on the computer (excluding, perhaps, ahem, private browsing). Can't remember that that document was called that you worked on last Tuesday PM? Scroll back to last Tuesday PM and see; open the document from there.

With a slate you can also use tilt and pan motions. Imagine organising your windows in the same way you would a stack of paper, by tapping the edge on the desk. Or tilt it left or right clear the desktop of windows (tilt the other way to get them back).

That's what I'm talking about. Touch is more than just a mouse-and-cursor replacement. It offers a new way of interacting altogether.
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