Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Tablets Launched!

I recently posted about some stealthy company named Tabco with some new take on tablet computing. Like every other new product, this was supposed to be the NEXT BIG THING, rendering iPads, Galaxy Tabs, and so on to the garbage heap (as well as their lemming-like owners, according to the ad.)

Well, as reported in Techie Buzz, it turns out that TabCo is REALLY FusionGarage, based in Singapore, and their new product line includes the Grid 10 tablet, and the Grid 4 phone. Yes, phone! These little gems utilize the new Grid OS:
GridOS is a groundbreaking operating system that features many first-of-its-kind functionalities. It reinvents touch computing from the ground up. Its user interface is unlike anything out there. It’s a groundbreaking, visceral experience. GridOS is stunning, smart, social and transportable. It features a groundbreaking animations engine. Every feature had been rethought and made better. Web Surfing, Email, Video, Music, Photos, Home Screen Navigation and more. It’s like nothing you have experienced before and it’s what makes Grid10 an exhilarating experience.

GridOS user interface is fresh and intuitive. Its grid layout is fluid, easy to use and unique compared to any other device. User interface innovations extend across all its functionalities. Even the way you interact with a volume dial has been rethought and delivered.

GridOS was built leveraging an android kernel. It was built on top of Android. Similar to how Apple built Mac from Unix BSD. GridOS is highly secure and scalable.

GridOS supports Android Apps. Android Apps runs on GridOS without requiring and redevelopment or new code. With thousands of apps available, you with never be bored with GridOS.
One key to GridOS appears to be the reinvented wheel:
This is no vanilla UI. It fundamentally changes the way you will experience a tablet. Completely gesture-based and button-free, Grid10 lets you navigate naturally, easier and without restriction. We’ve even eliminated the boring slide bar to access Grid10. You sign on – literally – with your signature. Sounds like we have reinvented the wheel, doesn’t it? Well, we have with our wheel-based interaction. A finger tap brings up the wheel and its spokes offer a multitude of functions. Just slide your finger around the wheel and choose the desired function.

I might have chosen another example than Lady Gag Gag, but you get the idea.

The Grid10 is a nice-looking monolithic slab with a 10-inch screen:

Under the hood, or screen, or whatever, it's pretty advanced for a tablet (from Techie Buzz):
Some other technical aspects of note is that it packs a Nvidia Tegra II 1.2Ghz Dual Core processor, 512MB RAM, and 16GB of storage. It runs on the GridOS. It is Wi-Fi and 3G capable. It has a front facing camera that will work with its video calling feature that boasts one to one, and one to many, video calls. It also allows for HDMI connectivity.
More specs here. The WiFi version is $499, and the 3G (no 4G, I guess) is $599.

The Grid4 phone looks like a squared off version of the iPhone 4, but with no home-button:

FusionGarage is rather proud of the minimalist design:
It will be hard to look away from a Grid4. It’s amazingly sexy. It’s amazingly sleek. There are no buttons. There are no curves. Its just 4 inches of all screen. The straight edges scream simplicity. It’s a triumph of honest design. The all-aluminum back is a nice touch. It’s shaped around the function with no artificial design. You will turn heads with a Grid4 in your hands.
The 4 inch screen has resolution of 800x480 pixels, as compared to the iPhone 4's 960x640 pixels on its 3.6 inch diagonal screen. Sorry, Verizon-lovers; the Grid4 has a quadband GSM chipset.

In rather amusing fashion, all the accessories, such as the adapter plug below, are done up in Grid Red:

Are the Grids iPad/iPhone killers? Hard to say at this point. Frankly, based on the very limited views on the FusionGarage website, they have more potential to be Android killers. They seem to build nicely upon the Android kernel, with what seems to be a far more pleasing interface. But the market will decide.

If this all sounds a bit familiar, you may be remembering the last production from FusionGarage, the rather unfortunately-named Joo-Joo, which was formerly known as the Crunchpad. It ran Linux, and barely saw the light of day. I expect FusionGarage will have significantly more success with the Grids. Seems to me they will appeal to those who don't want to give Apple (and Steve Jobs) their due, but are looking for something beyond the Androids.

I would love to hear from any bleeding edgers who've actually purchased one of these things...

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