Alternate Reality

Secrets of the CrunchPad Revealed!

You think Apple’s and Microsoft’s Tablet PCs will be hot? Wait til you see the CrunchPad. eSarcasm provides an exclusive inside look at the device that will change life as we know it.

By (@tynanwrites)

October 1, 2009

The story you're about to read is not (entirely) true. It is, however, more accurate than most things on network television.

The CrunchPad Fuck Apple. Screw Microsoft. Intercourse HP. The real Tablet PC That Will Bring America Back is Michael Arrington’s CrunchPad. But where exactly is it?

That is the question we sought to answer. But first, some background.

In July 2008, Michael Arrington announced his intentions to build “a dead simple Web Tablet for $200.” In late August, the first crude prototype was assembled. By the following January, the A-Team had developed Prototype B, a somewhat less crude but still horsey-looking device.

In April Arrington unveiled the sleeker Prototype C but noted that the price of the tablet had crept up to $300. In June he announced he’d opened a sweatshop development office in Singapore to build the CrunchPad, and would formally unveil it in August. In late July, Silicon Valley Insider revealed that the CrunchPad would cost $400 and be available in November.

Since then we’ve heard nothing. No announcement. No more prototypes cunningly leaked to the press. Just… crickets. Meanwhile the blogosphere is engorged with rumors about tablets from companies that actually know how to make computers.

The suspense was killing us. So, disguised as cleaning women, we broke into TechCrunch headquarters late one night last week. We poked around until we found the latest prototypes, which were buried under a pile of size 28 women’s undergarments in Arrington’s palatial office. We also found schematics, detailed marketing plans, and several photos of a compromising nature that should come in handy later if Arrington sues us.

What we found was a revelation. The latest prototypes published on TechCrunch in June depict a sleek almost-paper-thin tablet with a gorgeous full-color touchscreen:

crunchpad prototype new york times

But the CrunchPads we found looked like this:
crunchpad prototype D2

We immediately noticed a disturbing similarity in design to our own SarcPad, first revealed here in August. (Our attorneys are now drafting a strongly worded letter to TechCrunch Inc. Failing that, we plan to leave a flaming bag of dogshit on their doorstep.)

Otherwise, we were pleased to note that, as previously reported on eSarcasm, the CrunchPad’s Java-based OS would feature AutoRumor and AlwaysRight technology. But we found none of the other advanced features rumored to be part of the machine.

For example, the screen has a resolution of only 80 by 40, available in red, green, blue, purple, yellow, and orange pixels. Instead of a touchscreen, the Tablet employs a stylus that looks and smells suspiciously like a Dry Erase marker. Also, some of the knobs appear to be glued on.

According to the marketing documents, the CrunchPad will be available next February at a cost of $1200, not including the 56K modem required for an always-on-provided-you-never-hang-up-the-phone connection.

It gets worse. When we took the machine apart, we found this inside:

inside crunchpad prototype

Update: The CrunchPad’s June prototypes show a digital version of the New York Times, despite Arrington’s habit of publicly chastising the Times on journalistic techniques and ethics on an almost hourly basis.

When contacted by eSarcasm, a Times official said the paper would still consider allowing its content to be syndicated to the CrunchPad, but only if Arrington made the device small enough to fit entirely up his anus.

Editor’s note: Although several crimes were committed in preparing this story, we decided to publish this information anyway — because we knew that’s what Mike would do.

Photo: Hamster Machine courtesy of Worth1000.

Get fresh geek humor delivered daily: RSS | E-Mail | Twitter