TechCrunch Shows off Web Tablet Prototype

techcrunch crunchpad

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington proposed last year to make a device solely designed to surf the internet.  The requirements were simple, it had to be fast, it needed a browser, touch screen, wi-fi, and dirt cheap.

It’s actually a simple plan and probably like many great inventions, something that works and something that does exactly what it’s made to do.

They call it the Crunchpad.  It looks like an e-book reader or a tablet PC.  However, unlike those gadgets, the CrunchPad is designed to surf the internet using a touchscreen. Actually, it’s mainly designed as a blog reader.

So here are the specs, 12-inch touchscreen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, Via Nano processor, 1 GB of ram and  4 GB flash drive to store the OS and browser and any cache.  It measures 12.5″ x 9.7″ x 1.3″ and weighs 2 oz less than the 10″ eeePC.  It runs a modified Ubuntu operating system that boots straight to browser.  It actually skips everything else as the device is designed solely for the purpose of browsing the internet.

Actually, it’s all great.  However, when Techcrunch said it would first try to build such a machine, they wanted it to be cheap.   Unfortunately now they’re saying that their $200 target isn’t possible, and $299 looks like the final price.  Although $299 is indeed cheap, that money is enough to buy a netbook that has a lot more features.  This means that the CrunchPad is just going to be an accessory or a luxury device for someone who can spare $299.

So, how is this looking?  Well, I do admire Techcrunch’s idea and their ability to create something.  However, as a mainstream device  it’s not looking well for the Crunchpad.  Most likely it’s just going to be a party piece that sits on the couch for those lazy times with the television. In general, I predict that it’s going down the road Amazon’s Kindle went.

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