Is the Crunchpad Linux tablet a viable web surfing device at $299?

Last summer Michael Arrington posted on his plans to build a $200 web tablet and it now seems that there is a Prototype B being shown off. The device is known as the CrunchPad and looks like it will cost $299 instead of $200. The device has a 12 inch touchscreen display and is powered by a Via Nano processor. Is there a market or need for such a web surfing tablet?

Last summer Michael Arrington posted on his plans to build a $200 web tablet and it now seems that there is a Prototype B being shown off. The device is known as the CrunchPad and looks like it will cost $299 instead of $200. The device has a 12 inch touchscreen display and is powered by a Via Nano processor.

Is the Crunchpad Linux tablet a viable web surfing device at $299?

Current specifications of the CrunchPad include:

  • 12 inch 1024x768 pixel resolution display with 4:3 aspect ratio
  • Linux Ubuntu operating system
  • 4GB flash drive
  • WiFi
  • Accelerometer for flipping the display and viewing web content
  • Webcam
  • Four cell battery

There are a few photos and a couple of videos of the current prototype in action. The article states that the display on the current prototype is less expensive and lower quality than what you will see on the $299 model. A 12 inch display seems a bit large for that resolution and I think a 10 inch device would be lighter (currently 3 pounds) and more user friendly.

With netbooks in the $299 price range, do you think there is a market for something like this tablet? Microsoft has tried to promote Tablet PCs for a couple of years (granted at a much higher cost), but people seem to be much more interested in the notebook form factor with a keyboard. I am not sure they will like the experience of a resistive touch screen display, especially if they have ever tried the capacitive display on the iPhone or iPod touch. Capacitive is so much more finger friendly and usable for something like this tablet.

Thanks to jkOnTheRun for the heads-up.

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