His baby prematurely splayed over all the internet, Mike Arrington pulls back the rest of the curtain on the CrunchPad web tablet. It still sounds fantastic.
It's a truly stripped little slab, designed by Fusion Garage: The "bottom-up" Linux OS it runs boots directly into a new version of the custom WebKit-based browser, with a total software footprint of just 100MB. The 12-inch touchscreen is capacitive (i.e. multi-touchable), and it runs on an Intel Atom chip (previously it was on Via's Nano). And since it can be built for $250, selling it for $300 looks likely.
It is purely for internet—it just runs the browser and associated apps for reading news and emails (and presumably there's gonna be a Twitter app), watching Hulu and YouTube, and video chat via tokbox. Which is actually exactly why I want it—it's very much of the recent trend of simple but catchy and beautifully designed monofunctional gadgets like the Peek and Flip—but the single task it performs is that it acts more like a window frame looking out at something much larger.
It's also a pretty exciting experiment in two regards: Do people really want to consume the web on a tablet? Just how swell of an OS is the internet, anyway? At $300, there's no harm in finding out, even if Arrington is being coy about the CrunchPad's future at the moment. Jason Calacanis says it's "so amazing!!! like a giant iPhone," so hopefully we'll know still more about it soon. Like, when? [TechCrunch]