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Michael Arrington’s Crunchpad Gets Real

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I read about Michael Arrington’s concept for a low-cost Web tablet back last summer, and was intrigued. Web is useful, but the resolution on this gadget (1024 X 768) would make it ideal for reading PDF ebooks, particularly textbooks and scientific/technical nonfiction with lots of illustrations. Not every type of book can be read on a cellphone, and the sorts of ebooks that require larger displays are getting precious little respect in the gadget world.

But I learned today that the Crunchpad (as the TechCrunch crowd is now informally calling it) has reached the prototype stage. They sound like they’re aimed in the right direction, but remarkably, I see no discussion at all of the device’s usefulness as an ebook reader. (I added a comment to the entry to this effect.) It looks like it can work in portrait mode, and has an accelerometer to sense when it’s been “spun.” Ebook reader utilities are not cycle-hogs, and would add little to the burden on the CPU or SSD storage.

I’m a little queasy about on-screen touch keyboards; I would use the USB port for a “real” keyboard when one is needed. I would also add an externally-accessible SDHC card slot for loading content without waiting for the inevitably slow Wi-Fi link. But beyond that, if the thing can render PDF and CHM ebooks well, I’d buy one like a shot, and pay $300 for it without regret. This is one to keep an eye on.

One Comment

  1. […] Arrington’s Crunchpad (which I mentioned in my January 19, 2009 entry) seems to have some recent quantum leaps toward reality. I’m watching it as an ebook […]

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