Crunchtime For Crunchpad? Prototype Tablets Due Soon

TechCrunch blog founder Michael Arrington says his Crunchpad web tablet is getting closer to becoming a reality, with prototypes due by month's end. Arrington also told the San Francisco Business Times that he has formed a Singapore company, Crunchpad, Inc., to manufacture the device.

The touchscreen tablet, designed for web surfing, video chat, and light email use, is eerily similar to Microsoft's failed "Mira" eHome wireless smart display, which PC World recently named one of the "10 Dumbest Tech Products So Far".

The question for this morning is what the CrunchPad will have to do differently to avoid making such a list in the future? My suggestions:

1. Be superthin, like a legal pad.

2. Run for days without recharging and use a cordless recharger.

3. Have a great color touchscreen.

4. Android seems a good choice for an operating system.

5. Find a way to beat Amazon in the Kindle e-book business.

6. Find a way to (if necessary) beat Apple in the mediapad business.

7. Survive when dropped onto a wood floor in my house.

8. Sell for $99.95. Or not more than$199.95. I think the market is price-sensitive. This needs to be a brainless purchase.

I am not sure that accomplishing all those things will save what seems to be, essentially, a project driven by Arrington's legendary ego, from some future "10 worst" list. But, it will help.

Speaking of the list, our June edition, included my own pick for dumbest product of all time, the Digital Convergence CueCat, a small scanner that was supposed to read barcodes added to newspaper and magazine ads and take you to the associated Web sites. It was backed by the Dallas Morning News, which gives you some idea why newspapers are in trouble. But, I digress.

David Coursey had a CueCat and lived to tell. He tweets as techinciter and can be reached directly via the form at

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