According to InformationWeek, TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington has incorporated a company in Singapore to manufacture and sell his CrunchPad Tablet device, which may be ready for imminent arrival to market. The thin, touchscreen device will have a 12-inch diagonal screen, and on-screen keyboard, and will perform all the usual netbooky functions — email, Web browsing, video-watching courtesy of Flash — in a smaller, thinner form factor than the market’s current offerings. Several sources have reported that the tablet will be announced officially as soon as this month. (A mockup of the finished device, seen below.)
Already leaked in its prototype digs in April, the CrunchPad will run a customized Linux-based OS that boots directly into its browser, allowing the device to perform as a kind of thin client to the morass of cloud-based services we’ve come to know and love. The CrunchPad will run an Intel Atom processor (likely the 1.6GHz flavor popular in netbooks) and a substantial 4GB of RAM.
The $300 machine will fill a hole in the mobile market that Arrington has been decrying now for a year on his blog; no one, he says, has produced a simple, cheap Web tablet that is fast and usable. InformationWeek says that Arrington may find himself going up against Apple, which has been rumored to be working on a similar gizmo, but the veracity of that rumor is dubious; it’s probably based upon this off-hand comment by Apple’s interim CEO Tim Cook at April’s earnings report event, in which Cook intimates that Apple is “looking at” the netbook space.
Check out video below of the CrunchPad Prototype #B1 in action.