TechCrunch Tablet Updatex2: Prototype B

CrunchPad Prototype B

Although I wrote about prototype B almost two weeks ago, Michael Arrington finally decided to post about the new prototype which includes much more information than my post did.

They are now calling it the CrunchPad internally but that may not be the official name when it launches. The goal was to build a touchscreen tablet for $200 but they now say that $299 is much more realistic. The device plays Flash video “flawlessly.”

Back when I wrote about Prototype B we knew that it had a 12″ touchscreen but we didn’t know that it had a 4:3 aspect ratio (yuck, 16:9 or 16:10 would be worlds better for video playback) with a resolution of 1024 x 768. The processor they use is a Via Nano processor which performs very similarly to an Intel Atom processor and it also features 1GB of RAM and a 4GB flash drive.

The device has Wifi (of course), an accelerometer (which I find to be incredibly useless since the aspect ratio while on its side would be 768 x 1024, incredibly thin to say the least), a built in webcam, and a 4 cell battery.

The price estimate they have for manufacturing this device is just over $200 (probably the $222 that I claimed in the last post). This price estimate does include a much better display, which they will hopefully use since the resolution and aspect ratio isn’t ideal.

The current design (in my opinion) is fairly ugly but the final product will probably be thinner (they say they made it twice as thick as it really needed to be just in case there were heat issues or a problem with its sturdiness. The current hardware weighs 3 pounds.

The hardware is running a full install of Ubuntu Linux with a custom Webkit browser, but most of the software development to date has gone towards drivers and the virtual keyboard (which looks incredibly primitive so far).

The device looks really good so far but what worries me is that the few things that they have done that I don’t like (such as the accelerometer, the terrible display, and the weird virtual keyboard) either won’t change or will get worse. Obviously they are going into this with the best of intentions but I hope that the guys they have working on it know what they are doing.

TechCrunch Tablet Update: Prototype B.

TechCrunch Tablet Update: Prototype B

Prototype A

Although this hasn’t officially been announced on TechCrunch, Michael Arrington announced on the latest Gillmor Gang that on December 29th Prototype B of the TechCrunch Tablet was finished.

There wasn’t a lot of details mentioned about the new prototype but Arrington did say that the tablet has a 12″ touchscreen and was capable of playing back Hulu and YouTube videos open across 3 tabs in a browser (presumably Firefox) with no skipping.

Arrington also mentioned that the device costs about $222 to make and is “pretty fuckin’ kickass.”

Gillmor Gang 12.31.08

TechCrunch Tablet Update: Prototype A

The TechCrunch tablet first appeared about a month ago and seems to actually be moving along. The first prototype has been built. The current design is in an aluminum case that a local sheet metal shop put together for them but the final design will most likely use plastic and be almost twice as thin as the current prototype.

They booted the hardware for the first time today and were able to use it to navigate to a web page using the touch screen. The hardware specs are practically final and the rest of the work is going to be done on the design of the case itself, the software, and UI.

They have a team working on the project and Michael Arrington also said: “We’ve learned a lot about building a hardware device over the last few weeks, and it’s clear that it is quite possible to build a high performance web tablet in the price range we anticipated.”

They originally suggested a price range of about $200 and I think it might actually be possible. I was a little down on the project originally but I’m getting a little bit more hopefully for the project, the picture below doesn’t exactly get me excited but I sure as heck would love to have a 10″ (or so) touch screen that I can surf the web on while I’m sitting on the couch.


Alienware Shows Off Cool 2880×900 Curved Display

This is only a prototype but the display is said to be released in the second half of 2008. The curvature of the display mimics peripheral vision and from what I’ve read, looks gorgeous.

Official specs report less than .02-millisecond response time. Engadget said they noticed three faint vertical dividing lines which seem to indicate that the display are made out of four sub-panels. The display is about the same size as two 24″ displays.

Here is a video showing off the display:

The display looks pretty cool but, I don’t really see much of a point in having more than 20″ or so of screen real estate, I do just fine with the 13″ display on my MacBook. The display is using rear projection technology but it’s still pretty cool.

via Engadget

HTC Android Prototype in the Wild

A Gizmodo reader sent this picture to Gizmodo saying that they were able to play around with the phone for a bit. The reader says that it feels light and fast and seems to be much better put together than Windows Mobile 5.


Tivo Series 3 “Lite” Pictured

Gizmodo has got a hold of some pictures of the (hopefully) soon to be announced slimmed down Tivo Series 3. This device has been hinted at many times but no one has ever really talked much about it. The set top box is supposed to fix the problem of outrageous pricing on the current Series 3 Tivo’s. It is rumored to be priced at under $300 and be released this fall.

Here is one of the shots they have 3 more that you really should take a look at:

First Spy Pics of Upcoming Tivo Series 3 Lite?

RD790 Brings Quadfire

AMD’s new RD790 chipsets will bring some cool features but one really interesting one according to the Inquirer is the use of 4 graphics cards in a crossfire-like set up. They will have to be X1k and X2k series cards however.

The motherboards will sport 4 full length PCIe slots running 4 of them at 8x or two of them at 16x.

OCZ has some pictures of one of the motherboards that you can check out here.

I don’t really see the use in 4 graphics cards unless you are doing some kind of crazy work that would require you to have 8 monitors set up. That just seems like way to many monitors to me.

Real Picture of Optimus Keyboard?

On the Optimus Project blog Tema posted a picture of what might be the actual Optimus keyboard, possibly no longer Photoshop mockups.

Tema said that the keys are 2x2cm which is decent sized and that the product is no longer called “103” saying that “Details will be revealed on the first day of CeBIT.”

The infamous Optimus keyboard that geeks everywhere have been drooling over since pictures of it were first released may soon be seen in its true form at CeBIT.

Oh and here is the picture:

Optimus Project Blog [via Engadget]

Bumptop Prototype

“BumpTop aims to enrich the desktop metaphor with expressive, lightweight techniques found in the real world.”I guess I don’t really see the point in this. It is just another thing to distract you from actually doing work.