Friday could see the birth of a new player in the increasingly crowded field of wireless tablet computers as Joojoo, formerly known as the Crunchpad, is finally released for $499 in the US.
The 12.1-inch touchscreen internet tablet is the brainchild of Michael Arrington, founder of Techcrunch, one of the most popular technology blogs online and was built with the help and support of Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan, from Singapore-based Fusion Garage.
The venture started as Arrington's pet project but quickly became a proper business on its own attracting significant investments from Arrington himself and a number of third parties.
The price of the tablet though has ballooned from a more pallatable $200 to nearly $500. Although no specs have emerged, we know from multiple sources that it will have a SDHC card reader, at least one USB port and a capacitive 16:10 touch screen, the whole thing powered by a stripped down Linux distribution.
Fusion Garage claims that the Joojoo can go online in nine seconds and is perfect for simple web browsing. It won't run any programs or applications. Prospective customers have been invited to register their interest for the launch which will take place on the 11th of December.
Many, like ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, are saying that the project is likely to fail not only because of the price tag but also because it is "useless without WiFi" and could never see the day if Michael Arrington successfully gets his way.
It is very sad that such a promising product won't be able to mount a credible challenge to the likes of Amazon's Kindle or even Apple's Tablet PC which will certainly come next year. Will it succeed? Well, there is a market for such a device and it is interesting that it is launched just before Christmas.
(The Next Web)