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CNET First Look
Fusion Garage Grid10The Fusion Garage Grid10 has a unique interface that is ultimately the major barrier to enjoying using the tablet. Bad performance and low-quality components don't help.
-I love new and innovative tech. Well, at least, I'm supposed to love doing innovative tech, right? We're all supposed to love new and innovative things, but the truth is we only love new and innovative when it's actually well executed. Hi, I'm Eric Franklin and, today, we're taking our first-look at the Fusion Garage Grid10 Tablet. The Grid10 has a unique UI, but okay, I won't bury the lead, it's not well executed. First off, there's no home or back button (virtual or otherwise). Instead, you have to use two-finger swipes for those commands. Swiping to the left takes you back and swiping down from the top takes you home. Now, I'd rather have actual or virtual buttons do these. Well, this way works fine too as long as the tablet is laid down on a surface trying to swipe with two fingers while holding the tablet makes your finger crampy in experience though. Also, the Grid10's angular, pointy corners make it uncomfortable to hold and we have the bruises in our palms to prove it. Okay, we don't have bruises, but those corners really do dig into the palms. This brings us to the way the Grid10 handles navigation to apps. Apps are grouped into different clusters and the clusters are, by default, expanded and spread across the screen. It seems to be Fusion Garage's solution for having to flip through pages of apps like on a typical tablet and works a lot like the way folders do on an iPAD. Luckily, you can edit the grid, so that the clusters are closer together making them easier to find. Once they're all expanded, however, it becomes difficult to find the cluster and, therefore, the app you need quickly. There's a little mini map on the corner to help, but the fact that there's a map to help you navigate the interface leaves even more credence to the idea that the interface needed more work before released. Features-wise, the left side of the tablet holds a headphone jack, a 40-pin connector for power and connecting to a PC, a microSD card slot, and holes for the speakers. On the opposite edge are more speaker holes, a Micro-SIM slot (unusable in our Wi-Fi version), and a power button with a white LED light. The front side includes a low-quality 1.2-megapixel camera. Performance-wise, navigating and launching apps seems more sluggish than on other tablets. Also, the screen doesn't rotate to align when in an upside down horizontal position which is kinda weird and the screen has a low brightness and darkens severely when viewed from the right side. Though innovative, the Grid10 is severely held back by its user interface. This overly complex, inefficient UI, with its ridiculously unnecessary two-finger swipe navigation is clunky to use, performs sluggishly, and feels unfinished. There is potential here, but not enough to warrant a recommendation. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin and this has been the first look at the Fusion Garage Grid10.