TechCrunch, a leading technology blog network, has announced a project to develop an open-source ‘web tablet’ capable of running Firefox and Skype. The aim is to produce a very thin device (similar to a MacBook Air), with a touch screen interface, WiFi, half a Gigabyte of RAM, a 4Gb solid state hard drive, and possibly an inbuilt camera for video calls – all for less than $200.
According to Michael Arrington, owner of TechCrunch, they are working with a supply chain management company who believe it is possible and can have a few prototypes ready in a short period of time (within a month).
I’ve been considering buying a UMPC for quite a while as I no longer have a need for a fully fledged laptop. I do however still want a portable device, so I can sit down in the evening in front of the TV, browse the web and reply to emails. If TechCrunch pull this off – and I really hope they do – I will definitely be investing in a unit.
Something like this is right in Apple’s territory – they already have the thin MacBook Air and the fantastic touch screen interface of the iPhone, but no tablet PC. If TechCrunch get this device out quickly, Apple will have been caught asleep at the wheel.