posted by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Apr 2010 10:18 UTC
IconWhile entire contingents of media are getting twists in their knickers over the ucpoming iPad launch, we'd almost forget that other tablet we've talked about a lot - the Joo Joo. It was delayed a few times, but right now, it's finally shipping, and Engadget already has received theirs. The iPad is more important to Engadget, so we'll have to wait a bit for a real review, but they have lots of photos and a quick video of the device and its UI.

Some would call the Joo Joo a competitor to the iPad, but I think those people are a little... Strange. While the Joo Joo looks remarkably professional, well-designed, and dare I say it, incredibly Apple-like in almost every aspect, it's still a glorified garage-project, more akin to Apple's origins than Apple's present-day. Still, comparisons are inevitable, so let's get cracking.

For a garage project, the device looks pretty well-done, hardware-wise. On the software side, you'll clearly see it lacks the polish Apple puts into its products, but even here the Joo Joo doesn't look that bad, all things considered. And since it's Linux-based, it won't be long before people start hacking this thing, something not possible on the iPad (without being labelled a criminal, anyway). For instance, I'd want the Joo Joo to connect to my network so I can access the content stored on my server.

Specification-wise, the Joo Joo has both advantages and disadvantages compared to the iPad. The Joo Joo has a bigger screen with a higher resolution (multitouch), and one that is widescreen at that (instead of the iPad's clumsy 4:3), which should make it better suited for video. The Joo Joo also has a USB port and a front camera for video calls, but at the same time, currently lacks a 3G option, has little to no internal storage (only 4GB), and since it's Intel Atom-based, only has a fraction of the iPad's battery life. For those who care: the Joo Joo has Flash, so you get the full web.

That Atom-based aspect can also be seen as an advantage: if I were to ever get one of these, I'd open the darn thing up, upgrade the storage to something a little less 1999, and throw Windows 7 on it. Or Ubuntu. Or whatever. Useful? I don't know, but at least it's possible.

The Joo Joo clocks in at 499 USD, and is currently only available in the US. Some OSNews team members have already pre-ordered their iPads, and we're hoping we can get our hands on a Joo Joo as well, since the latter seems to be more in line with OSNews' roots.

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