A Singapore company is racing to be the first in the world to bring an almost mythical creature – the touchscreen tablet computer – to the market. The start-up, Fusion Garage, has teamed up with famed American technology blog Techcrunch and aims to get its machine out by November, in time for the Christmas buying rush.
The company gave The Straits Times a sneak preview last week. The fully working model, called a Crunchpad, has a 12-inch screen and weighs 1.2kg. It allows users to watch YouTube videos, listen to music and edit documents, among other things. Its operating system, or OS, was also developed in-house. The device will not have storage space – which some analysts have pegged as a big drawback – and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing.
This means that editing a document, for instance, requires users to access the relevant software via the Internet. Once a document is completed, it will be saved via the Internet too The race to launch the touchscreen tablet has captivated computer geeks worldwide, with a large amount of speculation, and anticipation, centred on Apple.
Rumours of a 10-inch Apple tablet device in the vein of the iPhone and iPod Touch have abounded over the last few months. Early this week, the Financial Times reported that Apple’s device will be available by the end of the year.