Wow, what a difference 3 months make. Here’s the CrunchPad prototype in January:
And the current version leaked today:
Certainly a lot better-looking, albeit not as thin as the original sketch. That said, if this thing is really in the $300 range, I’d love to buy one.
Now, I can hear people complain about all the things this device does not have, like a real keyboard, DVD player, bluetooth (?) .. you name it. It’s not a full-fledged computer, and it should not be. It’s 2009 and we no longer have just one do-it-all computer.
A tablet for lazy surfing, a netbook for travel, an iPhone for when we don’t even want to carry that much, a full laptop for everyday work, and even a full desktop as the multimedia workhorse: at these price levels we may very well have 5-6 or purpose-designed computers, situational devices. Pick up one, continue on the other as you move around – the switch should be seamless, our computing experience is becoming to device-independent.
The more of these situational devices we have, the less viable the sync-it-all, carry-your-files-with-you model becomes. (Just try the madness of waiting for your files to sync between 2 or 3 computers before you can start to work … it only gets worse the more devices we have. ) The same goes for applications: who wants to deal with 5-6 copies of the same program all updating themselves. So much for the S+S (software plus service) concept.
In fact one of the most notable components of the CrunchPad is the one it does not have: a hard-disk. A flash drive is more then sufficient to keep the OS (barebones in itself) and a few basics. Everything else, your applications and data are in the Cloud.