So the game’s up; ‘TabCo’ has been outed as Fusion Garage and the tablet is the Grid 10.
Announced at the TabCo live blog, the Grid 10 will run Android apps and, according to Fusion Garage founder and CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan offers the “best visual experience of any tablet out there today”.
Announced specs for the Grid 10 tablet include a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768, so maybe there’s some truth to that claim. It will run on Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual core chip and has an edge to edge design; in the video demo, we saw Rathakrishnan swiping in from the edges, like you do on the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Other specs include a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera, 3.5mm jack 512MB of RAM and 16GB of memory. It measures 122.4 x 63.9 x 9.6mm and features a micro SIM slot, HDMI and USB connections.
Calling the Android platform a “red ocean” and saying that there has been “no innovation since the iPhone”, Rathakrishnan extensively demoed the ‘Grid OS’ that boasts a grid-based UI that gives the products their names.
The UI resembles something like a periodic table of infinite proportions. You can pin shortcuts to apps and features like the camera or the browser and arrange them in coloured ‘clusters’.
We admit that this definitely appeals to our geeky side, but we’re wondering about its ease of use compared to the simpler ‘pages’ of apps of iOS and Android devices. With no sign of any physical buttons or a home key, we’re wondering how you’d avoid becoming lost in a potentially endless sea of app shortcuts.
Speaking of apps Rathakrishnan says that the devices will be able to run Android apps, which you’ll be able to download from the Amazon Appstore and Fusion Garage’s own Grid Shop.
Sadly, we didn’t get much of a glimpse of the Grid Shop in action in the demo, which, since we can’t access the Amazon store in the UK, we were interested in seeing in action.
Then again, if the browser is half decent, there’s nothing to stop us visiting the web Android Market and installing .apks directly from there.
During the demo of the browser, Rathakrishnan showcased the Dolphin Browser-esque ‘wheel’ of controls that we kind of saw earlier on the cube puzzle that ‘TabCo’ sent us. You long press on a link or piece of text and then a range of options (forwards, back, copy etc) fans outwards.
Pricing for the Grid 10 was given as $499 (or £305) for a 16GB Wi-Fi only version and $599 (£365) for Wi-Fi and 3G. Available to order from Fusion Garage’s site from the 15th of September, we were told to look out for ‘network availability’ over the coming months.