Joojoo shipping soon. Will it threaten the iPad?
Joojoo has superior screen resolution and Flash support, but the iPad has more flexibility
Remember the Joojoo Pad, that device that rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the CrunchPad? Back in the middle of December Fusion Garage's Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishna promised the Joojoo would ship in 8-10 weeks but since then the company has been pretty quiet. With the buzz being about Apple's iPad, the Joojoo was all but forgotten for a while.
Well now Fusion Garage is talking again. Chandra says that the first units will be in users' hands by the end of February, which would mean they made the deadline they set (time for me to eat crow, as I was doubtful they could make it). Mobile handset manufacturer CSL Group (apparently a major player in southeast Asia) will manufacture the device and Chandra says another round of financing is incoming. Engadget has all the details including full text of the press release, but it certainly sounds like Joojoo is nearly ready for launch.
What I find really interesting about the story is the impact the iPad has had, indirectly, on the Joojoo. Back in December, $500 for the device seemed far too much to many people but now that the low-end iPad will cost the same, some pundits seem to find the Joojoo's price more palatable. The reason why? Well it seems to come down to Flash support. The Joojoo is very much an internet tablet. You won't be downloading apps or storing media on it (the 4 GB of flash memory isn't expandable). But you will (presumably) be able to watch Hulu on it, and that seems to be enough for some to consider $500 a fair price. Chandra does say there will be some kind of cloud-based "App store" though it remains to be seen how large a developer community will form around the Joojoo. And there are some other perks. The screen is bigger and Joojoo does have a front facing camera.
I'm really interested to hear what people think of the final product and how it stacks up against the low-end iPad. From a numbers point of view, Joojoo will win on screen size (12.1" vs 9.7") and resolution (1366 x 768 vs 1024 x 768). iPad wins on capacity (16GB vs 4GB), weight (1.5 lbs vs 2.4 lbs), battery life (10 hours vs 5 hours) & WiFi (802.11n vs 802.11g). Joojoo is being coy about their processor and the iPad's 1 Gz A4 is still an unknown quantity. As mentioned, Joojoo has Flash support but when out of Wifi range it becomes an inert slab of silicon while the iPad will continue to play back local media and run apps you've previously downloaded.
In my mind, for web surfing and consuming online media, the Joojoo has the iPad beat (its screen resolution is a huge advantage) but the iPad seems like a better all-around device. For $500 Joojoo needs to do more (and maybe it will via this "app store" Fusion Garage talks about). Put it this way, if I only had $500 to spend (which in fact is the case) I'd put it towards an iPad. Or maybe a savings account.