Wired managed to save some photos of a new tablet that Web 2.0 personality Michael Arrington is producing. These photos were leaked and were up for a short period of time before they were taken down, one assumes, at the request of Mr. Arrington. The Crunchpad is a low-cost device that features a large touchscreen display, and low-end components that run a specially designed version of Linux. Crunchpads would compete directly with netbooks, offering consumers a keyboard-less option for accessing the internet on the go and for running software like Skype.
The idea behind a Crunchpad is that it features the most minimal of hardware specifications required to run Linux and programs like Firefox, Skype, and other small pieces of software to keep the user connected on the go. Specifically, the Crunchpad would consist only of a single button on the device to power it on and off, a headphone jack, built in camera for video, low end speakers, and a microphone all house in a colorful plastic shell. Internal components would be comprised of Wi-Fi, 512MB of memory, and a 4GB solid state hard drive. The Crunchpad is estimated to run under $250 for consumers, and if this proposed price is delivered, there could be a huge potential market for these tablets.
These devices are merely prototypes of the final Crunchpad, and Michael Arrington isn't saying just where in the production cycle the Crunchpad is. Hopefully these devices are close to production and release. Many consumers are currently clamoring for a lightweight touchscreen-tablet for dedicated internet browsing. Surprisingly, none of the larger hardware companies have released a similar concept, and it was left to the founder of Techcrunch to design and produce.