Remember in July when TechCrunch's Michael Arrington proposed to build a $200 Web tablet? Well, he did it -- kind of. The Internet sure does have a way of spreading rumors, and soon after photos of the latest CrunchPad prototype were leaked late Thursday night, the tech community was a buzzin' -- even Arrington.
Arrington said in an article posted early Friday morning that they weren't planning on talking about the CrunchPad at all at the time.
"It just isn't the right time yet," Arrington said in his post. "But, to make a long story short, someone accidentally published some photos we took to the web, they were seen and shortly were everywhere...even our own CrunchGear couldn't resist."
If you're not familiar with the idea behind the CrunchPad, Arrington described it thusly:
"I wanted something I couldn’t buy, and found people who said it could be built for a lot less than I imaged. The goal - a very thin and light touch screen computer, sans physical keyboard, that has no hard drive and boots directly to a browser to surf the web. The operating system exists solely to handle the hardware drivers and run the browser and associated applications. That’s it."
The CrunchPad's main function is Internet use. It's intended for "reading e-mails and the news, watching videos on Hulu, YouTube, etc., listening to streaming music on MySpace Music and imeem, and doing video chat via tokbox."
After going through a few prototypes, the tablet switched from Via to the Intel Atom chip. It's said to have at least a 12-inch screen, a camera, speakers, and a microphone.
"Add a single USB port, power in and sound out, and you’re done. If you want more features, this ain’t for you," Arrington said.
Instead of selling for $200, the tablet will probably be selling for around $300, with about a $250 manufacturing cost.
Check back soon for more updates on the CrunchPad.