The Fusion Garage JooJoo
was a short-lived tablet with more hype than promise, and it just so happened to launch around the same time as the iPad. Needless to say, so few were sold that manufacturing ended shortly after launch, and by and large, no one has heard of the company since. This kind of story is a familiar one in the cutthroat world of consumer electronics, but second winds rarely happen.
Today, a company by the name of TabCo is making its debut. Over the past few weeks, TabCo has been teasing about a new tablet product with mysterious videos and esoteric taglines. Now it all makes sense: TabCo is Fusion Garage, and today they're introducing not one, but two new products.
The Grid 10 tablet will run an all new OS, the Grid operating system. It's based on the Android kernel, but it doesn't look much like the Gingerbread most are used to seeing, or the Honeycomb builds hitting tablets now. The device will feature a 1366x768 resolution display, a 1.3MP camera (front-facing), 16GB of storage, a Bluetooth 2.1 module and a microSD slot. There's also an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip inside of the frame, a device-specific App Store, access to Google's own Android Market and optional 3G.
Those looking for something a little smaller should look at the Grid 4 smartphone. It's a handset that also runs the modified Grid OS, and offers a 4" display, Qualcomm dual-core CPU, 16GB of internal storage space, an 800x480 resolution panel, a front-facing 0.3MP camera and a 5MP camera on the rear.
The Grid 4 will sell unlocked for $399, a competitive price considering that most Android phones are upwards of $599 unlocked. Shipments are expected to go out in Q4, and carrier partners should be announced closer to that date.
The Wi-Fi only model of the Grid 10 tablet will sell for $499 (typical for a new tablet), while the 3G + Wi-Fi model will sell for $100 more. Right now, the tablet is available for pre-order at Amazon, with shipments beginning on September 15th. It may not be able to topple the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1, but maybe these guys can attract enough attention to keep things humming for a third iteration.