Due to debut a week before the iPad, the Linux-powered tablet sports an Atom processor, Nvidia’s Ion graphics engine, 3G radio and a new UI.
The iPad isn’t the only
touchscreen slate sitting on the launchpad. Remember the CrunchPad – an open-source tablet built by geeks, for geeks
The pet project of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington was in the works long before Apple’s iPad moved out of the misty swirl of rumour-land, but lost its way after a messy split
between Arrington and CrunchPad co-developers Fusion Garage.
Now christened the JooJoo, the Linux-powered tablet has suffered its own series of setbacks from the promised kick-off last December
, with the launch now set for March 25th – just one week before the iPad will make its debut amidst a predictable blaze of publicity.
Information on the JooJoo has been scant since Fusion Garage went its own way with the project, but the mandatory FCC approval process for the device reveals the Atom N270 processor (which replaced the original VIA Nano CPU) is now paired to Nvidia's Ion chipset and accompanied by an optional 3G card.
Also lurking beneath the 12 inch touchscreen is a customised build of Ubuntu Linux preloaded onto a 4GB SSD with a Webkit-based browser.
The UI has also been updated to a much slicker home screen with enhanced swipe, scroll and pan gestures. Multimedia support now ranges from Flash and native YouTube videos through to DiVX/XViD, AVI and MKV, which can be played from the SDD or a memory stick plugged into the JooJoo’s USB port.
The kicker is the price, which has slowly crept up from Arrington’s original vision of a US$199 device to the JooJoo’s US$499 sticker – the same price as Apple’s cheapest 16GB Wi-Fi iPad.