Fusion Garage is TabCo: Universal “Meh” Ensues


The wait is over, the mystery has been solved, and the question What the #@$% is TabCo? has been answered.  Apparently TabCo is actually Fusion Garage, and its highly-anticipated tablet is called Grid10. This morning, Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan revealed his company’s new product, their mission to differentiate, and their discontent with Apple’s de facto monopoly on innovation in electronics.

Fusion Garage, founded in 2008, is known for having severed ties with TechCrunch over the CrunchPad and the failed JooJoo tablet, but now they’re back with a vengeance. They’ve developed a tablet, smartphone, and completely new operating system–all under the brand name Grid.

What makes the Grid OS different? Based on the Android, Grid OS seeks to change the user experience to a simpler, more intuitive, and more social interaction. The interface appears as a grid, and everything from web browsing to volume control has been rethought. The Grid OS will support apps from its upcoming Grid Shop as well as Android apps. Fusion Garage also stands up to another tech giant, Google, by choosing Bing as their search engine, offering a “chromeless browsing experience.” [more]

The Tablet, Grid10, claims the highest resolution on the market at 1366 x 729. Fusion Garage boasts speed, beauty, and easy-to-use features for their tablet, calling it a “visceral experience.” This will soon be available to pre-order on Amazon for $499.

The Smartphone, Grid4, is a four-inch handset with a Qualcomm dual-core processor, 16GB of memory, and an 800 x 480 resolution. This will also run on the Grid OS and work seamlessly with the tablet. It prices at $399; carriers have yet to be announced.

Living up to the hype created TabCo was near impossible, and feedback from blogs and social media is a resounding “meh.” But while the tablet is not as revolutionary as some hoped, it has innovated in many subtle ways, giving it the differentiation it will need to develop its user-base. Like Google+, Grid faces the challenge of stealing market share away from the industry leader through differentiation. For both, this challenge will not be overcome easily in the short-term.

In the Q&A portion of its product launch, Fusion Garage’s CEO termed the TabCo campaign a risky success, downplayed the Android OS, and called out the consumer electronics industry for its complacent “sameness” in the shadow of Apple. Watch the whole product launch here.