I have to admit that I missed the original post about this device, but when I stumbled across the protoype announcement today I couldn’t help but get excited. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll remember my little quest for the perfect at-home-on-the-couch internet device. After considering, among others, the Nokia N800 I ended up getting an Eee-PC. But it looks like the Crunchpad is what I really wanted all along. And still do.
What I love about this prototype is the simplicity. It’s a browser-only touchscreen device with a big enough screen to be able to use a real full-size browser. While smaller screen devices have neat little tricks for dealing with scaling an such, there’s no real alternative for screen real estate. For the full web experience, you need a screen that’s not going to fit in your pocket.
The prototype runs Ubuntu with a custom Webkit-based browser. I hope Flash runs well enough to enjoy video at full screen. The Eee-PC isn’t quite fast enough to do that, but it’s really Adobe that’s to be blamed. Flash is really very slow on Linux. Even my living room PC (a 3GHz Pentium IV) has trouble with full screen Flash video under Ubuntu.
So what we have here is the illegitimate love child of a tablet PC and a netbook. An e-book reader for the web. And just exactly what I’ve been looking for. I hope TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington gets this to the market, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sells millions of them. If they hit the $200-$300 price range they’re aiming for I’ll be waiting in line.