Fusion Garage, who hosted a press event this morning, announced the future release of the JooJoo internet tablet — formerly known as the CrunchPad. JooJoo will sell for $499 and begin shipping in the next eight to ten weeks (JooJoo, by the way, is spin-off the African word “joujou,” which means magical device.). Highlights of the device include: a 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen (1366 x 768 – HD capable), a total weight of less than 2.5lbs, 5 hour battery life, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB SSD to run its custom OS from, front-facing 1.3MP webcam, built-in speakers, accelerometer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (no 3G), and a nine second boot up time. Complete details will be revealed on December 11th.
If Fusion Garage is able to bring the JooJoo to market, even during the pending litigation battle with TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, I think it still only has a small chance of long-term success. On paper the device seems like a winner. But now that it’s selling for $499 (instead of the CrunchPad’s goal of $300 — the real draw) and will most likely only be available online (Arrington had a retail store partner ready to go), it’s going to be hard to capture the general consumer’s interest — especially if the rumored Apple Tablet makes an appearance at around the same price point in the coming months.
The only positive I can think of at this point is if the hacker community gets a hold of it and finds that they can run Windows 7, Chrome OS, Android, etc. on the device (something Apple for sure won’t let you do with their hardware). FYI, Arrington did say he wanted to demo the CrunchPad last month running Windows 7 and Chrome OS — so it may be technically possible. But to be fair… we’ll have to wait to see how JooJoo’s default OS works since it was designed from the ground up to work on this tablet and it provides a lighweight UI to get common tasks done.
Related competition: $549.99 Archos 9 PCtablet
UPDATE (12/8/09) – lots of new pics and video of the device and UI:
Gizmodo – Fusion Garage JooJoo Tablet Hands-On
Wired.com – Hands On With the JooJoo
Engadget – JooJoo tablet hands-on (video)
Tags: CrunchPad, Fusion Garage, JooJoo
Filed in: Portable Media Players