crunchpad st

The Singapore Straits Times has spilled the beans on the upcoming CrunchPad touchscreen tablet that’s the brainchild of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. The initial idea was to build a touchscreen device that was designed to run a web browser and little else, get excellent battery life, and sell for around $200. So how did they do?

Basically, they’ve wound up building a netbook, albeit one without a keyboard. Here’s the rundown of the specs:

  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Screen: 12 inches
  • Operating System/software: Custom OS with webkit-based browser
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.77″ x 7.83″ x 0.74″
  • Connectivity: WiFi with optional 3G
  • Peripherals: 1 USB port
  • Price: Rumored to be around $399
  • Release date: around November

So umm, yeah. It weighs about as much as a typical netbook, has the same processor as most netbooks, and it will likely cost about the same as most netbooks, if not more than some. It’ll have a larger display than most, which could be a plus for some, but it also has no keyboard, which will make text entry much more difficult. But if you’re primarily looking for a tool for reading web sites and viewing online video and don’t care about typing out emails and other text, then I suppose it could do the trick.

The problem is, more and more of our online activity requires 2-way communication. Maybe one day a microphone and speech recognition software will replace the keyboard, (although that could make libraries, coffee shops, and classrooms much noisier places), but for now if you want to write emails, update your blog, leave comments on news articles, or chat with your friends, you’re going to want a device with a keyboard.

If the CrunchPad were a $200 web video player, maybe I could get behind it. But for $400, it’s basically a netbook without a keyboard. And I’m not sure I see the point.

Incidentally, I’d take the Straits Times article with a grain of salt, since the article also refers to the CrunchPad as the “world’s first tablet PC,” which is kind of, you know, absolutely, 100% wrong.

via Engadget

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10 replies on “CrunchPad specs, release date leaked”

  1. “Incidentally, I’d take the Straits Times article with a grain of salt, since the article also refers to the CrunchPad as the “world’s first tablet PC,” which is kind of, you know, absolutely, 100% wrong.”

    Well that’s because the CrunchPad is Singapore’s first tablet. They don’t know about the tablet. Maybe they’re thinking of tablet PC as web tablet. They just made a simple typo that caused a lot of discussion.

  2. Ill get one at 299$.
    No way in hell at 399$.

    The same applies for netbooks.

  3. from the ‘Times article: “It allows users to watch YouTube videos, listen to music and edit documents, among other things.”

    a 1.6ghz atom with a 12″ screen that can handle youtube? well probably not fullscreen, unless it’s 12″ with a 1024×600 resolution which would be pretty silly.

  4. Something y’all are forgetting is that it has a USB port. With that, you can use a single USB plug to attach a hub, which connects the mouse and keyboard and sound and etc. Make a simple stand to hold the tablet vertically. and you’ve got a compact desktop PC that transforms into a portable tablet. Yeah, I can see this being an awesome secondary computer/webviewer.

  5. What is the point of putting a power guzzler like the Atom into a tablet that is intended to only run a browser? That one decision killed this product.

    Imagine an ARM in there and a three cell battery. What would that do to weight and sticker price? No it probably wouldn’t get them all the way to $200 witha 12″ display but it would help. And the weight advantage should be obvious.

  6. Two point six pounds?! They need to shave at least half of a pound off of that to even make it worth thinking about.

    1. Agreed. Let us see, they have already thrown away the keyboard and storage – –
      Maybe toss out the motherboard, that should be about half a pound. 😉

  7. The Straits Times article is a hoot:

    “A SINGAPORE company is racing to be the first in the world to bring an almost mythical creature – the touchscreen tablet computer – to the market.”

    If they’d added “without storage” to the sentence, it might have been accurate 🙂

    From reading forums, etc, I’ve gotten the idea that Singapore is one of the most sophisticated places in the world when it comes to netbooks, hacking, etc, so it seems kind of strange that Straits Times could be so confused.

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