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JooJoo2

So here's a funny story.

A few years ago, tech blogger Mike Arrington set himself a challenge: to get a cheap, easy-peasy Android tablet, good for surfing the web and simple tasks, available for less than $200. He struck a deal with a manufacturer called Fusion Garage, and the device, dubbed the 'CrunchPad' after Arrington's blog TechCrunch, was set to take the tablet world by storm.

Then a funny thing happened. The CrunchPad appeared, but it wasn't $200, it was $499. And it wasn't the CrunchPad any more, but the Fusion Garage JooJoo Pad. The details of what happened between Arrington and Fusion Garage are a matter of legal dispute, but their partnership - Fusion Garage deny it was ever more than a loose verbal agreement - seems to have petered out.

Anyway, the JooJoo was an odd beast - essentially an Android tablet, but with a heavily customised version of the OS and some specially-made apps. It was released in early 2010, and it didn't sell well.

End of part one.

Then, a few months ago, a company called TabCo started posting mysterious videos on YouTube promising an exciting new tablet. Like this one:

Exciting stuff, eh?

Well, as promised, yesterday - in retrospect, they didn't exactly pick a slow news day - TabCo revealed themselves. And, as some predicted, they're really Fusion Garage and the exciting new tablet they're launching is, basically, the JooJoo 2. But they're not calling it that. In response to the poor sales of the JooJoo, they're adopting a new brand. The new tablet is called the Grid 10, and the new version of Fusion Garage's custom Android version is called Grid.

And what's it like? Well, it's... OK! It's a 10-inch tablet, seemingly reasonably thin and light, with a healthy Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and an impressive 1366x768 screen resolution. (That means it's 16:9, as opposed to the 16:10 favoured by most Android tablets.) Grid is a heavily customised version of Android, but it will still run Android apps. (Oddly, though, it uses Bing, not Google, for search.)

And that's not all! The Grid 10 has a little brother, the Grid 4, a smartphone. Like the Grid 10, it's fairly unremarkable apart from its operating system.

We'll try to get a hold of a Grid device to have a play and let you know what we think, but don't get too excited: these babies are expected to be US-only for now.

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