TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s career as a gadget baron appears to be near launch: Unless this is an elaborate ruse, these are pictures of the CrunchPad, the cheap tablet PC that Arrington dreamed up last summer.
We’re waiting to hear Arrington’s official explanation, but it appears that the CrunchPad, if an actual business endeavour, might even beat Apple’s supposedly forthcoming tablet PC to market. Earlier this year, Arrington said he thought it’d be possible to sell the gadget — complete with 12-inch screen and virtual keyboard — for about $300. We’d definitely snag one at that price.
Since January, Arrington has had former Altavista CTO Louis Monier working on the tablet in his spare time. These leaked photos were posted today and removed from one of Arrington’s personal Web sites, according to Gizmodo.
Click a photo to expand it or click here to scroll through CrunchPad photos →
Update: Arrington confirms they’re real, and shares a bit more information:
Anyway, we’ve continued to tinker with the project, which is referred to as Mike’s Science Project internally (or, “that thing”). But we certainly aren’t ready to talk about anything more at this point. But we did meet with Fusion Garage again today to test out the most recent prototype (B.5?). This is a significant step forward from Prototype B because the software stack is now entirely customised. The last version had a full install of Ubuntu Linux with a custom Webkit browser. This version has a bottom-up linux operating system and a new version of the browser. We also switched from Via to the Intel Atom chip. The total software footprint is around 100 MB total, which is a solid achievement. Also, this time the ID and hardware work was driven by Fusion Garage out of Singapore.