In this lengthy article we have an in-depth look at the Fusion Garage Grid10 which is an interesting tablet taking into consideration that it has a rather special OS interface about which we’ll talk later on. But first, let’s have a look at its design. When you hold it in landscape view it has a width of 10.8 inches, while its chassis stretches a little bit more when compared to the 10.75 inches of the Toshiba Thrive. The Grid10 weighs 1.48 pounds, which makes it considerably heavier than the Archos 101 G9 and the Acer Iconia Tab A500.
In terms of comfort, we were disappointed due to the reason that the tablet has pointy and angular corners plus it’s also too long. In addition, most likely you won’t like that the front bezel has a glossy black finish which attracts a considerable amount of fingertips, just like the glossy screen. At least the back adopts a dark-gray textured matte finish that keeps smudges and fingerprints away.
On the left side of the Fusion Garage Grid10 you will have access to the 40-pin connector for connecting the tablet to the PC and for recharging the battery. Also on the left are the headphone jack, holes for the speakers and the microSD card slot. The right spine is home for the microSIM slot, speaker hole and the power button which has a white LED light.
Since the tablet doesn’t have any physical or virtual home or back buttons, the navigation is done with the help of a combination of gesture controls and tapping. Home and back commands can be done by performing two-finger controls. These gestures begin at the bezel and then swipe in over the screen,
Let’s move on to the interface which groups a few categories of apps in a bunch of clusters. This means that rather than scrolling through pages of apps like you do on all Android smartphones and tablets, in this one you can pan around one screen in order to locate the cluster of applications that you want to use. By adding new applications to one of the clusters it will expand the real estate of that cluster, thus pushing the rest of the apps farther away.
The user has the possibility of collapsing the clusters which makes them smaller and considerably faster to find, but keep in mind that if you do this then finding the desired application will be considerably harder since you will be panning over the virtual space of which you’ll be able to see just a small portion at a time. The good thing is that in the upper right corner you will find a mini map which will help you find the cluster you are looking for.
The Fusion Garage Grid10 is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor and comes with 512MB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The tablet offers support for Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n Wi-Fi, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, memory expansion via the aforementioned microSD card slot, GPS and an ambient light sensor. It also has a front-facing camera (no rear-facing one) but this is quite disappointing since we’re dealing with a 1.2 megapixel unit so don’t expect to grab high quality photos. As we were saying earlier, the tablet has speakers on both of its sides but these can be quite scratchy when you are listening to music, but at least the volume gets high enough.
The notification center of the tablet is known as Heartbeat and this is the place where you will find info about recent activity, calendar events, downloads, as well as a handy shortcut to the recent applications you have used. We have to warn you though that when you’re downloading an application, the only indication that you get during the process is a pulsing light on the screen’s left side so to see what’s being downloaded you will have to open Hearbeat where you will get info about the progress and also where you can access this file.
An interesting feature would have to be the possibility of unlocking the lock screen by simply making any character on it, plus you can also set it up to unlock the screen only based on a personal pattern or even a signature which will add additional security.
The Fusion Garage Grid10 runs on GridOS which at the moment it isn’t as stable as it should be so there is still room for improvement, not just as far as the stability is concerned, because they also need to make some improvements in the speed of this operating system as the applications launch with a considerable delay. The same delay will be noticed when you fiddle with the available settings.
Another drawback of the tablet would have to be the screen as it isn’t sufficiently bright while the right-side viewing angle is extremely narrow which can be a huge downside for many users as most people consider that the highlight of any tablet, regardless of its type and price, should be the screen.
As for the battery, we don’t have anything positive to say as it will last for less than five hours which we find to be unacceptable for a tablet that costs $300. For this money you can get other models which will last you 7 hours without any problems.
All things considered, if you don’t like the iOS or Android operating systems and are on the look for something new and different, the Fusion Garage Grid10 can be a good solution since it runs on GridOS. However, before making a decision you will have to take into account all of the drawbacks of this OS. Maybe it would be better until the operating system receives some well-deserved updates and it won’t that primitive. Or you can just go the safe way and buy a cheap yet good Android-running tablet, like the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. Both tablets are cheaper than the Grid10 and have a far superior display while the OS is considerably better in just about any single way you can think of. In addition, Windows 8-running tablets are just around the corner.