We covered the CrunchPad a fair bit here, so it’s only natural to report it’s inching closer to Launch. Or is it rather slipping?
The Straits Times visited Fusion Garage, the Singapore-based company that’s developing the CrunchPad, and published details. It’s now expected to hit the market in November, just in time for Christmas shopping. Previous “whisper date” was July-August, and while normally a few month’s delay is not the end of the world, it could prove fatal if Apple’s rumored tablet will really materialize around the end of the year or early 2010. In fact just rumors of an Apple Tablet on the horizon may hurt CrunchPad sales, especially if the price moves up to $399 vs. the original target of $299.
The Straits Times points to the lack of local storage as a weakness: I tend to disagree. They look at it as a computer – I don’t. I’ve said before, it’s a situational device:
It’s not a full-fledged PC, in fact it’s a barebones Netbook sans keyboard. But you don’t need more: as I’ve often pointed out, at today’s price levels (the CrunchPad originally aimed at $300) we no longer need to rely on one main personal computer, but multiple situational devices: a desktop with a large screen for the office or home, a notebook for easy travel or even work at the backyard, a netbook for short trips, conferences, an iPhone if you want to carry even less, and now a CrunchPad for those lazy moments on the couch or at the pool-side (oh, and I want a Startrek Replicator). So I want my CrunchPad slim, lightweight, with just a flash drive, good enough screen and memory to quickly pull up a browser and nothing else: everything else is in the Cloud.
Of course price is a big issue, and clearly at $99 or $199 we can afford more types of these “situational devices” than at $399, $499 ..etc. The higher the price, the more it becomes super-niche and ahead of its time, stipulates Silicon Alley Insider.
I started to talk about situational hardware re. Netbooks. Some consumers were disappointed after buying these as “cheap computers”. They clearly are not. Cheap yes, full computer not. Netbooks are indeed slow, the screens are tiny, not exactly suitable as your one-and-only primary computer. But they serve a purpose as an auxiliary device. I’m glad Intel agrees with my approach:
Full-blown computers, Netbooks, CruncPads are all situational devices, serving a different purpose. Or vacuum cleaners of a different size and capacity, says mighty Intel. 🙂
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