TabCo revealed: it’s a Fusion Garage tablet called Grid10
JooJoo-maker Fusion Garage has been revealed to be behind a months-long viral marketing campaign, launching a new tablet called Grid10.
The announcement comes after a series of PR stunts from a mysterious firm called TabCo, including sky-writers over an Apple conference, Rubik’s Cubes sent to journalists, and a video calling Apple fans “lemmings”.
TabCo was revealed to be Fusion Garage in an Apple-aping launch video streamed online.
The ostentatious campaign was aimed at encouraging media and customers to give Fusion Garage a second chance after the failure of its JooJoo tablet – which our reviewer called “awkward and clumsy”.
“The reaction given [to a follow-up] wouldn’t have given the product a fair shot,” CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan said, while apparently speaking to an empty room in what appeared to be a pre-recorded video, before taking questions read out to him by one “moderator”.
“Our initial hype didn’t match the hype of our product,” he admitted, speaking about the JooJoo, apparently without irony. To make up for the failure of the last device, the company will give a free Grid10 tablet to everyone who bought the JooJoo.
The 10in tablet, as well as a matching smartphone called Grid4, will feature a new OS based on the Android kernel, but with its own GridOS UI. That is based, unsurprisingly, on a grid pattern, with apps and tools pulled together in “clusters” by subject, such as work or home.
“It’s nothing like what you have out there… it’s just stunning,” Rathakrishnan boasted.
The company has created its own productivity suite, called Frames, as well as photo-viewing and editing software. It also has its own browser, which loaded basic search pages slowly in the demo. The browser featured a split screen and tabs were accessed via a wheel interface.
All search via the device will use Microsoft’s Bing – which Rathakrishnan said was the best search on the market – and support third-party Android app stores. However, the company will also have its own app store, and any mention of the Android Market was conspicuous by its absence.
The tablet and smartphone will work in tandem, so a movie started on one can be continued on the other.
In terms of hardware, the Grid10 features a 1,366 x 768 resolution TFT screen and 1.3-megapixel camera, and runs a 1.2GHz Tegra II processor.
“This isn’t just another tablet. This isn’t just another OS. Grid10 is innovation,” he claimed, accusing the rest of the tablet market of “sameness” and even casting doubt on the true popularity of Android during his surreal Q&A.
The Grid10 tablet will be available for preorder today priced at $499 for Wi-Fi or $599 with 3G – “the same as lesser products”. It will arrive on 15 September. The 16GB phone will cost $399 unlocked, and will ship before the end of the year.
We’ll bring you reviews of both if and when they reach these shores.