Blogger To Release Touch Screen Web Tablet

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington has incorporated a company to sell a 12-inch "Crunchpad" tablet for surfing the Web, watching online video, and using e-mail.
CrunchPad Internet Tablet
(click image for larger view)
CrunchPad Internet Tablet
As a blogger for TechCrunch, Michael Arrington has often pined for a simple, cheap tablet that's made primarily for browsing the Web. He's now putting his money where his mouth is, and has formed a company to sell a Web tablet called the CrunchPad.

The CrunchPad is expected to be a light, thin device that is primarily used for browsing the Web, reading e-mail, and viewing videos from Flash-based Web sites like YouTube and Hulu. The device will have a 12-inch touch screen with an "iPhone-like" virtual keyboard, and the device will use Intel's Atom processor.

The CrunchPad will use a customized Linux kernel that boots directly to a Webkit-based browser. The device is expected to come with 4 GB of internal memory, and a USB slot for an external keyboard. Arrington said having the device boot directly to the browser means it won't need a lot of hardware horsepower to operate smoothly.

Arrington said he recently incorporated a company called CrunchPad in Singapore to manufacture and sell the device. He expects the tablet to be available within a couple months for under $300.

"I'm tired of waiting -- I want a dead simple and dirt cheap touch screen Web tablet to surf the Web," Arrington wrote nearly a year ago at the CrunchPad's genesis. "The goal is to keep the machine very simple and very cheap. I think this will be a lot of fun, and it may just turn into an actual product that we use to surf the Web and talk to our friends."

It is unclear if the CrunchPad will find a wide audience beyond the tech-savvy early adopters, as it will be competing with netbooks that offer more-familiar interfaces and applications. Additionally, Apple is rumored to be working on a similar device that will cost more but can tap into its popular App Store infrastructure.

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