updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue July 22, 2008
TechCrunch tablet PC
Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, is planning on creating his own affordable tablet PC, as he feels the market is lacking one. To this end, he launched the Techcrunch Web Tablet Project. To keep prices "dirt cheap," Arrington suggests the PC would ideally run a Firefox interface disguising a Linux kernel. Arrington is calling for any interested parties to help out with the open-source programming of the interface, offering an example of the tablet once it's completed as a reward.
The imagined specs of the tablet would include 512MB of RAM, a 4GB SSD drive for file storage, and a virtual touchpad keyboard, with no mention of the processor to be used. A built-in battery, integrated video camera, speakers, a microphone and a single USB port would also keep costs down while providing the bare necessities. Wi-Fi capability and Skype for VoIP communication would be the luxury touches.
The interface and everyday applications such as an instant messaging program, email client and word processors, among others, would have to be written if the targeted $200 price point is to be met, TechCrunch says. The site is working with a supply chain management company that can create the basic machine for a few hundred dollars, they say. Apple is also rumored to be working on a small, low-cost tablet computer.
In comparison, Nokia's next WiMAX-enabled N810/830 costing at least that much. Nokia's current N810 costs anywhere from $390 to $440, with Lenovo's IdeaPad U8 Mobile Internet Device likely to cost more.
TechCrunch is inviting anyone interested in the project to post a comment on the website's blog. The same blog will document the progress on the web tablet as well.