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TechCrunch promises $299 touch tablet

updated 08:45 am EST, Mon January 19, 2009

CrunchPad Tablet

News site TechCrunch today revealed that it's much closer to launching a promised low-cost, touchscreen Internet tablet. Referred to now as the CrunchPad, the device has a 12-inch, 1024x768 touch display but includes netbook-grade components to keep the price and size down: the nearly button-free device will use a VIA Nano processor, 1GB of memory and a 4GB flash drive that are just enough to hold an interface that boots directly to a custom WebKit-based browser in Ubuntu Linux.

The tablet also contains a webcam, Wi-Fi, USB and VGA, and is devoted to reading and interacting with rich websites. Flash and other video codecs are included and let the tablet watch video from Hulu or participate in live video chats on web services that talk to the camera from within the browser. An on-screen keyboard lets users write text without a peripheral.

Currently in a second prototype that is nearing a final "lockdown" of its design and feature set, the CrunchPad is close enough in development that it's estimated to sell for $299, or less than many non-touch netbooks and as much as touchscreen media players like the iPod touch. Whether or not it will enter mass production is unknown and would purportedly involve the technology news website splitting off the hardware business into a separate company.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Monstermind

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'd buy one.

    Beats waiting for the iPod Touch to come down in price...


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Only a Browser?

    I don't think this will sell. OK it maybe a cheaper iPod touch that you have to lug around. So what is the compelling value here - nothing.

    For me the promise of a tablet PC in the form factor this one is - is that I can carry it around like a diary to meetings and take notes without using a keyboard. Writing is natural act in meetings typing is not.

    Now if they add the ability to take notes (NOT handwriting recognition ) then this will be a great product. Add handwriting recognition and WOW this will be a great product.

    I am hoping and hoping that Apple will bring back the Newton in the iPod like format.

    Oh! And Steve get well soon, We miss you and pray for a quick recovery.


  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple just got beat

    to the punch. A comparable Apple version would have cost $500 more with the only premium of Snow Leopard, an Apple logo and unibody construction instead of cheap plastic.

    Of course WS loves this TechCrunch tablet because it is dirt cheap and likely has a user replaceable battery.

  1. danangdoc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wonder if the VIA processor would support OSX? That would be boffo!

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