This summer, a viral marketing campaign for a mysterious company known as TabCo assaulted our inboxes and sent us ransom notes (and a Rubik’s Cube, oddly).  TabCo turned out to be a front for the new Grid10 tablet from Fusion Garage – the outfit that came up with the intriguing but ultimately disappointing JooJoo Internet Tablet.

While the JooJoo ended up having users curse it for its unresponsive touchscreen interface, its makers were lauded for their attempts at innovation. It was the first pure touchscreen tablet to launch and even had its own, cloud-based interface.

Fusion Garage believe there’s room in the market for alternatives to Android and iPad tablets and has come up with a new custom OS. The GridOS is based on an Android kernel, but has a few quirks, including a circular onscreen menu – much like the Ring on Acer’s Iconia tablets. To log in to your Grid10 tablet, you use a finger to sign your name.

Powered by an nVidia Tegra 2 processor and with 512MB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory , the 690g tablet has its own productivity apps, integrated web browser and a ‘seamless state’ memory that lets you leave an app and resume using it from the same point without needing to save your work. Android apps can be installed to the tablet, but there are also GridOS-specific apps that can be downloaded from a dedicated portal. Preinstalled apps include one called Heartbeat that combines your appointments and notifications with HTML emails and contacts and also shows you previews of Facebook updates and incoming messages. As on tablets such as the BlackBerry Playbook and Motorola Xoom, apps and the web browser display at full-screen, with controls fading from view when not actively being used.

The 10.1in tablet has a 1366x768-pixel display , 1.3Mp webcam, 2Mp rear camera, accelerometer, assisted-GPS, digital compass, 802.11 b, g and n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, wireless music synching and a dock with HDMI and USB connections.