Fusion Garage, the small company behind the Grid10 tablet that was announced earlier this year, has mysteriously gone dark. Engadget first noted that the company’s website was down this past weekend and, while the site is now back online, it is still not fully functional. Many images aren’t loading and it’s impossible to buy any of the company’s products from its online store. When we tried to purchase a Grid10 tablet online the website said: “We are running out of stock. Thank you.” Worse still, Fusion Garage hasn’t posted any new messages to Twitter or Facebook recently and its public relations company has announced it is no longer working Fusion Garage. Read on for more. More →
Will wonders never cease? The joojoo, a 12-inch Linux-based tablet that was supposedly tied to a tree just last week, will in fact not be put out to pasture as had been reported last week. Instead, Fusion Garage has enlisted the help of reseller partner ASTExC to give the tablet a makeover. Osaka Japan-based ASTEC will up the device’s internal storage to 16GB and then further “customize joojoo for business applications.” Fusion Garage is even on the hunt for more partners to, “utilize alternative operating systems such as Linux and Microsoft Windows in joojoo.” A Windows-powered joojoo? Consider our interest piqued.
Fusion Garage did confirm that the joojoo tablet would no longer be available direct to consumers, however, stating that the option to purchase the device would be removed from the joojoo website on November 19th. The company also confirmed that it is working on new tablets based on a custom Android build, and it is targeting the first half of 2011 for launches. “We are very pleased by the rapidly increasing vertical market interest in joojoo,” Fusion Garage founder and CEO, Chandra Rathakrishnan said in a statement. “Companies such as ASTEC are able to do some very innovative customization of the product and enable joojoo to be used in business applications that go beyond our consumer focus. At the same time, this marks the end of joojoo as a product and a brand for Fusion Garage. We have learned a lot and will carry forward insight gained from joojoo to our new generation of products that we will introduce in the first half of 2011.”
Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
First it was called the CrunchPad, then it was called joojoo… now it’s just called dead. Fusion Garage founder Chandrashekar Rathakrishnan confirmed to e27 on Thursday that the company’s virgin tablet offering has been discontinued. The news is hardly shocking following the revelation earlier this year that only 90 people pre-ordered the device. Originally conceived by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, the joojoo was a large-form Linux tablet that was initially envisioned to be little more than a cheap Web browsing tool. Arrington formed a partnership with Fusion Garage to build the device, but it ended in a messy divorce and a DOA $500 tablet. While the joojoo was quick to find its way to the gadget graveyard, Fusion Garage will apparently live on. Rathakrishnan confirmed rumors that a joojoo follow up is in the works — several, in fact — and that Android will be the company’s operating system of choice moving forward. More →
There it is folks, the first usable prototype of TechCrunch’s internet tablet project. For those who missed it, Michael Arrington decided he wanted a sizable, affordable browser-only device and and couldn’t find one so he decided to build it. Kudos for the follow through, but we have to wonder if there are reasons such a device doesn’t exist. First off, there will definitely be some major drawbacks brought on by the low-end components required to keep the price down – especially with very small production runs. The display likely won’t hold a candle to those found on laptops or UMPCs, the battery life will likely not be desirable as a result of low-quality cells and even at the new target price of $299, we’re not sure how appealing the device actually is. A Nokia N800, for example, is infinitely more functional and can now be had with an 8GB+ memory card for under $200 – Arrignton’s original target price. While the display on the N800 is much smaller than that of the Crunchpad, it is also a much better quality display from the looks of things.
The bottom line is while plenty of readers continue to support the project, when it comes time to fork up the cash we have to wonder if they will maintain the same level of enthusiasm for a device that offers no real benefits beyond the laptops and other devices they all already own. The Crunchpad will likely be a use-at-home toy for those who do end up with a production model as traveling with a sizable device possessing no functionality outside of web browsing doesn’t make much sense. Even when hacks come out to add various features and introduce functionality beyond browsing, working on a touchscreen-only device? No thanks. What do you guys think – hot or hopeless?
Hit the jump for a video of the prototype in action.