TabCo has finally let people behind its velvet rope. After weeks of speculation sprinkled with cryptic pizzas, Rubik's cubes, and viral campaigns, Fusion Garage (which had masqueraded as "TabCo") announced two new devices, the Grid 10 slate and the Grid 4 smartphone .
The Grid 10 is no Joo Joo 2 as it introduces a completely new OS built on top of the Android kernel. Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan took the opportunity to call Android an Apple copycat and trashed the Android Market, calling it "rather bloody." While the Grid 10 can run Android apps from the Android Market and Amazon, it will also have its own proprietary app store, the GridShop. The tablet will feature "motion-picture quality visuals," heavy Bing integration, and social-networking features. Rathakrishnan declared that almost every piece of content on the Grid can be shared via social network.
The Grid eschews physical buttons for a totally gesture-based interface. Instead of swipable pages, the tablet features an endless grid with groups of apps called clusters. During the demo, the Grid showed speedy and responsive navigation moving from cluster to cluster while creating new groups.
Users can open e-mail in Grid mode, color-coding messages by level of importance. Attached images automatically open in photo mode, allowing users to quickly scroll through them. Rathakrishnan also showed off the tablet's browser, which supports full-screen and split-screen viewing, a first for 10-inch tablets.
The Grid 4 smartphone also uses GridOS, providing a wheel interface as a primary means of navigation. Fusion Garage's seamless content integration was also on display during the demo. We watched as Rathakrishnan played a clip of Tron: Legacy on the Grid 10 then queued the video on the Grid 4, picking up where the 10 left off. Like the 10, the Grid 4 has no buttons. The aluminum phone will feature a 4-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolution.
The Grid 10 and Grid 4 will be available for preorder on FusionGarage's Grid site or Amazon on September 15th. Fusion Garage is pricing the 16GB Wi-Fi Grid 10 at $499 and the 16GB 3G version at$599. The unlocked Grid 4 will cost $399.