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CrunchPad On Video, Your Thoughts?



For those wanting to see more action on the CrunchPad, check out this previously private video. Looks minimalistic in user interaction and very good use of gestures.

Here’s the question: what is Arrington doing here that companies like Motion Computing, TabletKiosk, Fujitsu, Microsoft, etc have not been doing since 2001? Is it the instant boot and browser OS that’s the differentiator? Is it the design that is getting people all excited? Will you want one? Arrington hasn’t said anything about cost, but we know he’s shooting for under $500. If the screen is flush with the bezel, then he has to be using a capacitive touch digitizer, and that has to be driving up the cost. He also hasn’t mentioned anything about pen support, which I doubt will be there. The CrunchPad coupled with a MiFi has a lot of possibilities. Thoughts?



  1. RandySpangler

    06/04/2009 at 6:56 am

    This device could be a game changer for newspapers and book readers. If it is affordable, it could be huge. I could see it getting subsidized by (no… not by the US gov’t) by interested old-school content providers. It is big and it is in color. (If you do the math, it would probably be cheaper for the NYT to give these away with a subscription than to print 365 papers a year.)

    First thing I thought was, how much is he charging for the hot buttons on the home page? Can you imagine a NYT or WSJ or Wash Post hot button on the home page? What about eBay? I could see them selling a specific version based upon your profile with certain hot link buttons baked in and subsidies provided by the ‘button holders’. Arrington ain’t doin’ this just for the good of mankind. He’s gonna make bank on this.

    Rob’s comment about where have all of the other mfr’s been is a salient Q! Are these people asleep, or is the perfect the enemy of the good? Maybe TechCrunch can put out a v1.0 product that isn’t perfect and get better by 3.0 whereas an established company feels that it cannot do the same. Also, what would happen to Motion’s $2000+ product line if they came out with a $299 slate? Hmmmmmmmmm? Of course, they would would have to rip most of the cool features out so that they wouldn’t canibalize their current offerings.

    Inertia can be an innovation killer, can’t it???


  2. Frank

    06/04/2009 at 7:14 am

    my opinion in short: A waste of money and it won’t change anything.
    Why? Easy:
    You can’t replace any paper (newspaper, magazine, …)with it because it won’t be readable in a little brighter environment not to mention outdoors in the sun or in a train. The display will be a cheap TN panel, useless in a slate.
    It also does not look ruggedized so you can’t use it on a rainy day, drop it on the floor, …
    You also can’t use it as a PC, because, according to the video, it is very slow and its use is limited to simplest web browsing.
    It’s also fairly large, thick and bulky, not really handy and portable.
    And then the price. Wow, that’s expensive, for a device which has nothing special.

    And lets be honest. Do you really spent half of the day browsing the web, and all this without writing anything? Do you really need such a device? Why? When I surf then I want to write an answer, download a few files, view a PDF file, check my mails, all this will be impossible with this device.
    Yes, it has an onscreen keyboard, which allows you to type with 20WPM, or?

    Such a device looks perfect as a terminal, a very advanced remote control, something like this, but even then, 500 USD, that’s too much.

    The Motion J3400 or the Fujitsu ST6012 are full computers. They have perfect displays, the J3400 is even ruggedized. They have long battery life and you can do everything with them, not just viewing YouTube videos.

  3. Sumocat

    06/04/2009 at 7:17 am

    Looks capacitive but not multi-touch. That probably brings the cost down to being competitive with resistive of comparable quality. The gestures being shown are quite basic, and I hope more are planned (I might have missed that part since I can’t hear the sound at work). Keyboard looks really nice. Big with lot of empty space to avoid errors, but I think it also needs a split thumb board option. I’m not sold yet, but what they’ve shown is quite promising. As for pen support, a moist sponge works as a stylus on a capacitive touchscreen, so you can clean while you surf.

  4. RandySpangler

    06/04/2009 at 8:41 am


    I think there is a niche in the home or in the office where you can pick up a ‘slate’ and take your browser to the lunch table, into the breakfast nook, on the sofa, while sitting on the throne (well… lots of reading gets done there.) Why be stuck behind a monitor to see the Internets?

    The price ($299??) is in the ‘appliance’ range where we can have single purpose devices (well, maybe multi-purpose, but not omni-purpose.) Don’t kill an idea because it has to do all things for all people.

    If my mental math is correct, 18mm is about the thickness of a piece of 3/4″ plywood. Not too bad. You don’t want it too thin, or it will get destroyed.

    Browser will need to accept and support a plethora of plug-ins or it will be basically useless. That’s a fact…

    If there was some simple way to transfer your browsing history or your open web pages from your PC to the Pad (via USB or WiFi???) so that the transfer from chair to sofa would be seamless, that would be very, very cool.

  5. Steven

    06/04/2009 at 9:08 am

    What is most interesting to me is that this looks almost identical to what Otto Berkes showed as his vision for the original Origami machine, and at the price point. That was, what? About 2 years ago? I agree with other commenters about subsidizing. This thing looks, too, like it could be a color version of the Kindle. If something like that could utilize Whisper, like the Kindle, then wow.

  6. dcbCreative

    06/04/2009 at 1:17 pm

    If they keep the price point bellow $300… …I’d buy it. I like the look of the latest design and the screen is for me an ideal size. I think (All I got here is opinion) it would be great for doing what it is design to do, be a light weight and portable conduit for internet media. If I want to do more I’ll power up my trusty laptop. If I want to do even more I’ll sit down at my rugged workstation.

  7. Corrupted Mind

    06/04/2009 at 2:19 pm

    I’m no fan, and I’m deeply sceptic but what Arrington has done different is tell ppl how the device should be used. Sounds simple, but as a long time mobile device user the fact that he has told customers that it is only for websurfing makes a huge difference. You avg mainstream customer will go and use it for just that and there won’t be all that disappointment that surrounds the ubiquitous UMPC brand which means PC but doesn’t hit all the buttons, or MID devices which barely scrap out 2hrs of use. The position is clear, if you want internet whilst lounging on your sofa then the Crunchpad is your device.

  8. Nate

    06/04/2009 at 3:23 pm

    I think Arrington went into this whole thing thinking that everyone else wants what he wants. I believe he is wrong, and this video is the proof.

    What we have here is a single purpose device, that doesn’t even handle that function very well, and to top it off, it sounds like the price of this thing has doubled.

    This thing is going to fail, and it’s going to do it hard… if it’s ever release, that is.

  9. Osiris

    06/04/2009 at 3:56 pm

    I dont think anything is useless, I see all these touch incursions into the consumer sphere as benefiting the entire tablet/tablet pc platform. Without the incursion of devices like this into the home/consumer sphere the tablet pc will never have expanded its market/role beyond a niche status itself.

    As more and more of these devices roll out people will want to start using them for business or start thinking of ways tablet pcs can make their lives easier etc and when they see that it takes a tablet pc to do most things beyond web-browsing thats when the platform will get some traction.

    I find the device appealing myself, thin, lightweight, just nice design, but for the price they are trying to target im certainly not expecting great battery life etc but its still a good start.

  10. Frank

    06/04/2009 at 4:26 pm

    They should have included the Tegra platform and they should sell it for less than 300USD.

    has anyone ever used a tablet PC in slate mode on the couch? Well I do it sometimes, and I’m honest, after two minutes I convert the tablet to notebook mode because the display position is too low and thus not comfortable for the neck and typing is cumbersome.

    In the future we will see a lot of such devices, but they will cost less than 100USD. Such a device (if semi-ruggedized for easy cleaning) is great in a kitchen as a cooking book, on the lunch table, anything, except ‘Only-Internet-Couch-surfing’.
    We also don’t inly need the device, but also the software which allows us to use such a device, sadly this software is missing, too.

    The device has a very limited use and for such a high price I would be stupid if I buy it.

  11. ChrisRS

    06/04/2009 at 8:20 pm

    The appeal of this will depend on price.

    Applications other than web browsing will matter as well.

    A universal remote control option (needs IR) that would be similar to the Logitech Harmony would be great. Considering the cost of a Harmony conroler, this would be a valuable addition.

    An app that would be a family calendar, message center, etc would be great as well.

  12. RandySpangler

    06/04/2009 at 11:03 pm

    While we are playing What If… what if this device could interface with an iPhone via Bluetooth and become an extension of the iPhone’s screen. You really wouldn’t need anything else would you?

    (Well… you know what I mean.)

  13. Spaqguqu

    07/01/2009 at 4:05 am

    tecHZg comment3 ,

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