Michael Arrington has asked for help building a web tablet the idea is to have an open source tablet that runs Linux with Firefox or Skype on top of it as it’s main apps.
The tablet would be “as thin as possible, run low end hardware and has a single button for powering it on and off, headphone jacks, a built in camera for video, low end speakers, and a microphone. It will have Wifi, maybe on USB port, a built in battery, half a Gigabyte of RAM, a 4-Gigabyte solid state hard drive.”
The tablet would be turned on with it’s single button and would open Firefox automatically in a modified kiosk mode basically bypassing the operating system. Firefox could have Google Gears for offline syncing and Skype for communication.
Arrington has asked to have volunteers help build the Linux distro that would go on the tablet and a small team of people would help spec out the hardware of the device.
As much as I would love to have a nice tablet like this (especially at their purposed $200 price point) but honestly I think the iPhone works pretty well already. A larger touch screen would obviously be nicer but the fact that I can put the iPhone in my pocket and carry it anywhere I want is a pretty great feature and I don’t know if the extra screen real estate is worth the lack of pocket-ability.
I do think this is an interesting project and am interested to know where this goes but am worried that since the largest person backing this project (at this time at least) is Michael Arrington himself, if this product was built by someone like Nokia or Asus I think it would have a little bit more push behind it but hopefully their $200 tablet will actually see the light of day.