Michael Arrington resurrects enigmatic CrunchPad tablet

Michael Arrington has told the Gillmor Gang podcast that his enigmatic CrunchPad tablet is “steamrolling along” and remains on schedule.

According to Arrington, the CrunchPad will carry a $300-$400 price tag and feature an Intel Atom processor along with a 12 inch screen. In addition, the nascent device is expected to include a browser capable of displaying graphic-intensive Internet sites such as Hulu and YouTube.

Arrington also noted that he was examining various ways to help keep production costs down by negotiating soft revenue and sponsorship opportunities.

Nevertheless, a number of journalists and bloggers have speculated that the CrunchPad could be DOA due to its relatively steep price tag.

“While the project apparently isn’t dead, I do still think there’s a chance it will be DOA. For $300 to $400 I don’t really see why anyone would buy a dedicated web device instead of a fully functional computer,” wrote Brad of Liliputing. “By the time the CrunchPad is available, you might even be able to pick up a touchscreen tablet style netbook in the $400 range. You can already get the Eee PC T91/T91MT for around $500 to $550.”

UMPCPortal’s “Chippy” expressed similar sentiments.

“For mass-market couch-surfing, [$300-400 is} too expensive. The Archos Android tablet and iPod Touch have already set the pricing bar (and possibly the sizing) for home-based sofa-surfing devices. [However], to be fair, I don’t think Mike Arrington expects the Crunchpad to be selling millions and he understands that the home ‘pad’ market is just taking off. So this, like many other first attempt projects, could be more of a learning and branding exercise than anything else.”