Viral campaigning TabCo reveals identity, outs new tablet and smartphone

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

Fusion Garage, the company behind the infamous JooJoo tablet, has revealed it was responsible for creating an elaborate viral marketing campaign to promote its latest tablet.

Fusion Garage set up a fictitious company called the secret Tablet Company (aka TabCo) to create buzz about the impending release of a tablet in a campaign that swept Twitter, YouTube, the internet and the sky

The illusive brand promised to bring consumers the “most innovative tablet” under the guise of TabCo.

The release of Fusion Garage’s “failed” JooJoo tablet is still fresh in blogger’s minds, but the company is hoping to turn a new leaf with the release of its latest tablet, the Grid-10.

Fusion Garage’s Grid-10 tablet is a strikingly square-looking 10” device. It packs in a 1.2Ghz dual-core Nvidia Tegra2 processor, a 10.1” widescreen capacitive touch panel display with a notably high resolution of 1366 x 768, 3G (optional), WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, video chat with a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, GPS and 16GB of storage.

Fusion Garage is most excited about the tablet’s Grid operating system - “a groundbreaking operating system that features many first-of-its-kind functionalities,” says the company. The OS is built on top of Google’s Android OS (meaning the tablet should run many Android apps) but looks hardly anything like it.

"This is not a re-skinned version of Android," said Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan. "What we did with the Android kernel is akin to what Apple did when it created the Mac OS. They built a completely new OS on top of UNIX BSD and we took exactly the same approach with Android. This approach gave us the stability of Android and allowed us to bring a new level of functionality, aesthetics and flair to the tablet market. It also allowed us to power a completely new type of user interface."

While the tablet’s specs are decent, Twitter users have slammed the company’s attempts to reinvent itself and are tweeting, “ Poor Fusion Garage. It's painful to watch a company try this hard,” “ Fusion Garage: Don't judge us by our terrible past, only by our new magical product. FRIKKIN HILARIOUS!

IntoMobile reports that the Grid-10 tablet is “better than you’d expect” after spending a few minutes hands-on with the tablet, but it is one of the few technology blogs with good things to say about the Grid-10. 

PCMag explains that “it's hard to have high hopes for the Grid products,” adding that it “seemed to be anything but easy or intuitive to use.”

All Things D commented on the tablet’s $499 ($599 with 3G) price tag, noting that “Fusion Garage finds itself priced essentially the same as a comparably equipped iPad and considerably more than rival Android tablets from well-known companies like Acer and Toshiba.”

Fusion Garage’s Grid-4 smartphone, on the other hand, is more realistically priced at $399 unlocked (an unlocked iPhone 4 will set you back $649).

The Grid-4 comes with a 4”, 4-point capacitive touch display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 3G and WiFi connectivity, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 0.3MP front-facing camera and 16GB of storage.

Only time will determine if the Grid-powered device is good enough to go to war against the current onslaught of Android, Windows 7 and iOS smartphones.

The Grid-4 will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Grid 10 is available for pre-order now and will start shipping in the US on September 15.

Gizmodo reports that consumers who purchased the original JooJoo tablet will receive a Grid-10 free of charge.