TechCrunch has “just about nailed down the final design” for their long-awaited “CrunchPad,” the popular tech blog’s first foray into the consumer hardware arena.
The CrunchPad is to be an internet tablet running a version of Linux and a Webkit-based browser, controlled by a 12-inch multi-touch display. The device is sort of a “giant iPod Touch” that boots directly into a web browser. In this age of internet connectivity and “cloud” web services, you don’t need to carry an entire computer around with you everywhere.
The CrunchPad is planned to have Wi-Fi and 3G wireless support, and was originally intended to be $200 or less when it was announced last summer (though plans for pricing may have changed). The device will be about 18mm thick, and it will have a USB port for connecting peripherals such as a physical keyboard.
Personally, I don’t think I’d have much use for this, as I have a smallish laptop and an iPod Touch, which together take care of most of my computing needs. The iPod serves the same purpose as the CrunchPad to me, but it plays music and is pocket-sized.
I can totally see this taking off, and putting down some of the netbook craze. It may have to go up against a competing product from Apple, though, if the rumors have any truth to them.