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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 10, 2009 at 10:42 AM

TechCrunch shows its “Crunchpad” netbook

Great to see TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington putting money where his mouth is, building prototypes of the cheap Web tablet he’s been wishing the tech industry would produce.

In a post officially taking the wraps off the project today, Arrington said the Atom-powered Linux “Crunchpad” device could be built for around $250. He gave much of the development credit to Singapore-based Fusion Garage. What’s next is unclear, but he’s apparently casting about for partners.

crunchpad.JPG

I wish newspapers were hacking like this, trying to build their own alternatives to the Kindle and bleeding edge e-paper devices. Couldn’t cost much more than an executive trip to San Diego.

The Crunchpad reminds me of the “Mira” Web tablets that Microsoft unveiled in 2002. The concepts are similar but Mira was too early and constricted — the $800 device came long before Atom chips, its wireless was complicated and Microsoft was focused on extending Windows XP PCs in the home more than building a standalone mobile browsing device.

Now there are all sorts of mobile browsing devices in the same price range and more coming as all sorts of companies — even T-Mobile USA — get creative with the low-cost mobile computing hardware that’s available.

Comments | Topics: crunchpad, Gadgets & products, Kindle

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