18 Comments

Summary:

Say goodbye to the cheap CrunchPad — it’s now known as the JooJoo, says FusionGarage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan. Although TechCrunch’s CrunchPad company cried “foul!” last month, FusionGarage is moving forward on its own with this product. Why? According to the web conference I just watched, FusionGarage […]

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Say goodbye to the cheap CrunchPad — it’s now known as the JooJoo, says FusionGarage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan. Although TechCrunch’s CrunchPad company cried “foul!” last month, FusionGarage is moving forward on its own with this product. Why? According to the web conference I just watched, FusionGarage alone owns the IP and did all the work. FusionGarage “is the only doer in this story” while CrunchPad “didn’t contribute a line of code.”

I could go about all of the history I heard, but that information is likely to be covered to death elsewhere. More important to me — and likely most of you — is the actual device. Oh yes, it’s real and it becomes available for pre-order this Friday, December 11 at http://www.thejoojoo.com. But it won’t be $200 to $300 as originally hoped. That goal was unrealistic and “nothing worthwhile can be produced at that price.” That explains the $499 price for this 12.1″ capacitive web tablet with Wi-Fi connectivity. The operating system is Unix-based and the device has a 4 GB Solid State Disk drive for local storage. There’s “enough graphic power” for full HD video playback. Five hours of online time is the expectation for wireless browsing. Have a look-see at the JooJoo, which is an African term for “magical.”

While I applaud the project, design and product, $500 is a hard sell for a web-based tablet with only Wi-Fi. A netbook is priced less and offers far more, so I’m calling this one a niche product for now. It’s not something I’d carry around all the time due to the size, which means it would be a couch-surfer for me. And my couch didn’t cost $500. ;)

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  1. I love the Apple IIe shade of green they’re using. ;)

    1. Kevin C. Tofel DZ Monday, December 7, 2009

      There was a question about that on the web conference but it was said to be more of a trick of the camera. We’ll see once the first hands on reviews hit. I may get the chance to look at one later this week and I’ll let you know for sure about the tint. While this device looks great for web content consumption, it’s got to be inefficient for content creation. At that size, it can’t be easy or fast to use the on screen keyboard.

  2. James Kendrick Monday, December 7, 2009

    The lack of an OS dooms it as much as that high price, IMHO. Sure, it’s basically like the Chrome OS, but without the Google behind it. Any company that names a device JooJoo doesn’t know what they are doing.

  3. $500? That price is very hard to swallow. This has all of the elements of going down as one of the biggest tech duds of this decade.

    1. Bigger than the Palm Foleo? ;)

      –Ken

  4. It’s hard to have any trust in the company after the techcrunch debacle.

    1. I don’t know if I’d blame Fusion Garage. It sounds to me like TechCrunch was all about marketing it with their own branding for a percentage, but Fusion did the hardware and GUI.

      1. It sounds to me like there is “stupid” all over this device, and the only way to not catch it (just in case it’s contagious) is to avoid/reject it as though it is a plague-ridden ship on the horizon.

  5. Shall i use my Nook or JoJo? or maybe the Kindle

    “Throw some more Kindle on that Jojo”,

    Seriously though, maybe there’s a Nook for the Jojo?

  6. Steve Brandon Monday, December 7, 2009

    I think Mark pegs it. I’ve read the TechCrunch version of what happened, complete with emails from this Chandra guy and TC’s legal letter, and–best case for the company–I will wait and see if product is being shipped before sending in either contact information via the joojoo cite or, worst, sending money.

    I’ve followed the CrunchPad since the initial discussion and through the various other dramatics and no-shows in it’s progress. I *want* something very much like this tablet but of a portable size. Considering I work via the cloud, having few, if any, resident apps is no problem. Heck, I’ve been playing with ChromeOS, and with the exception of decent printer/BT support, it’s almost there for me; still, I won’t be spending money on the JooJoo.

    Instead, I’m planning on continuing to wait for a Smartbook tablet, something like the Vilic 7 inch tablet, or ChromeOS tablet. Until then, a netbook and a Nokia internet tablet will work just fine. I might follow your example and, once it matures, install ChromeOS on my Samsung slate.

    It’s not the tech which bothers me with the JooJoo; it’s the ethos and the seeming lack of ethics of the producer. Could I trust them to patch, support, update, or even ship? By the time I found out, there will be better available at comparable (or cheaper) price points.

    This dog don’t run.

  7. #1 question to me – how much do I trust these guys? Will they be around long enough to provide the necessary updates? Will they stand behind the product and honor the warranty?

    never heard of them before, unlikely to be one of the first to give them my $500.

    Question #2 – who will ultimately sell more hardware Psystar or Fusion Garage?

  8. I think the “cloud” model, without an always on data connection, is just frustration waiting to happen.

  9. Anyone remember the Pepper Pad? Many, including me were burned. Before plopping down your hard earned cash, take a gander at the notice on Pepper’s current web site.

    http://www.pepper.com/

  10. African for “Magic”, Finnish for “yeah, right”.

    So, $500 for web browser? I think I’d do better waiting for a Chrome based tablet.

    Or,I hate to sound like a broken record, I can get an Entourage eDGe for that much, and have an e-reader, web browser, VNC/ssh station for monitoring my systems, media player, etc.

    Guess which one sounds more appealing to me?

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