The JooJoo Web slate is based around a 12.1-inch diagonal 720p capacitive touchscreen. The specs include: 1,366x768-pixel resolution, a built-in camera, mic, and speakers, one USB port, and a card slot. There's 4GB of cache memory. The hardware is slim and pleasing to hold.
The screen is gorgeous, and huge, and the plastic back is gently curved. The unit is very slim, thinner than a MacBook Air. There are no buttons on the device, save the single power switch.
The JooJoo runs a proprietary Linux-based operating system whose only purpose is to run the device's browser, based on Webkit but again a custom job by the developer. The browser supports Flash and other standard HTML extensions, but it won't run non-Web apps. No Skype for you.
Upon booting the device, which really does take only nine seconds, you get a big display of tiles: Your Web bookmarks. The WiFi-only device loads up pages reasonably quickly and you can scroll through pages by dragging your finger on the screen. A pinch out (or "zoom") gesture takes you back the home screen.
From the home screen, pinching in shows you your open Web sites. Missing from the current pre-production code is a navigate back gesture (it will be a two-finger swipe), a bookmark gesture (which will be like turning down a page corner), and other functions, like closing a browser window and page zoom.
From the home screen you can use the on-screen keyboard to enter a Web address or a search term. Once you type something in, you can use it as a Web address or a Google text or video search term.
Is the JooJoo a great device? Yes, it is. But at the US$499 price point, we don't think it will be a success. It does less than a Netbook--it won't run productivity apps that aren't browser-based--and it's helpless when away from a Wi-Fi connection.
It's a great computer for browsing the Web from the couch, but at its current price it's a luxury item, an indulgence. It's hard to justify its purchase in the way buyers can rationalize an iPhone or a Kindle.
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