The San Francisco Business Times ran a feature Friday on Michael Arrington, the brains behind TechCrunch. While not the most popular guy in the blogosphere, Arrington is well-respected in many business circles. As a result, when he announced that he was creating a new hardware company to crank out web surfing tablets, a lot of folks took notice.
The so-called "CrunchPad" just might be the 1:1 device that we've been looking for if prices can be kept low enough. According to the Slashdot post,
'The case will be aluminum, which is more expensive than plastic but is sturdier and lets us shave a little more off the overall thickness of the device.' The CrunchPad boots directly into the browser with a Linux-based operating system and a WebKit-based browser.
I think we can all see where this might go in a classroom. Slate applications that run on Linux, easy access to Internet resources, e-reader applications, note-taking applications (have you used Xournal? It makes note-taking as easy as paper), etc., could all be used in class. While there won't be a hard drive, flash memory or hooks into cloud-based applications would make that irrelevant. If the price can just be kept low enough, this could, in fact, be huge.
Major announcements are expected in July. July is here (although you couldn't tell by the weather here in New England); this is one announcement from Arrington to which I'm actually looking forward.