updated 12:45 pm EDT, Mon August 15, 2011
Fusion Garage Grid 10 official with Google charges
Fusion Garage as expected confirmed itself as the origins behind TabCo, now known to be a fake promo brand, and unveiled the Grid 10 tablet and the Grid 4 smartphone. The 10-inch Android tablet is completely unlike its struggling ancestor, the JooJoo, and is built around a heavily customized layer known as the Grid OS. It revolves around an infinite space, the Grid Desktop that lets users organize their apps around clusters that can be collapsed and labeled; much of the interface is controlled through gestures.
The interface has the option of going split screen.
Grid also has a productivity suite known as GridFrames. Fusion Garage also promises that it will focus heavily on "motion picture class" animation, built-in content sharing, and Bing search integrated throughout. Many of the apps are optimized and include an e-mail app with a dedicated video viewing. A built-in video playback app lets people pick up on a video where they left off.
App store choices will be broad and will include Amazon Appstore and a self-developed Grid Shop.
The Grid 10 itself has a very standard NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor but is driving a denser than usual 1366x768 display. It should cost $499 for a Wi-Fi version and $599 for a 3G version, both of which should ship September 15. Amazon is taking pre-orders now, and everyone who bought a JooJoo will get the Grid 10 for free.
The Grid 4, although it shares the same OS foundations as the larger slate but uses a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon and a 480x800 display. Usual Android extras of this year are still intact, such as a front VGA camera and 16GB of built-in storage. It should cost $399 unlocked with 16GB of storage and ship sometime in the fall. Carrier deals will come closer to the release.
In unveiling the device, Fusion Garage head Chandra Rathakrishnan also unusually attacked Google even as he used its platform. He accused Google of making a "copycat" of the iPhone that practiced "no innovation." Apple was leading from the front and king of the hill, while others that were clinging more closely to the OS were all the same.
Android was a "red ocean" that needed a "shakeout" where more unique releases needed to rise to the top, he said. He argued that many of them were playing a "skin game."
While Fusion Garage had no expectations of challenging Apple on sales, he did see the company as the "benchmark" it was aiming at. Rathakrishnan argued that Android wasn't winning in the public's minds, as it was simply the option people bought as an alternative to an iPhone.
"We love Apple products," he said.