Goodbye $200 CrunchPad, Hello $500 JooJoo Web Tablet

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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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