There are only two mainstream touchscreen tablets on sale currently: the iPad and the JooJoo. Last week, I had a quick test of the latter when I met Chandra Rathakrishnan, founder and chief executive of Singapore company Fusion Garage and the man behind the JooJoo.
The JooJoo resembles the 9.7-inch iPad but is bigger at 12.1 inches. Both have an aluminium back. They also share similar features, such as built-in speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack and wireless and Bluetooth capabilities. Like the iPad, content on the JooJoo can be viewed in portrait or landscape mode.
The similarities end there. The JooJoo has a bigger screen, as well as an USB port and a camera. The tablet feels nice in the hand but, at 1.1kg, it could be too heavy as a handheld.
Web pages appear vibrant and brilliant but the 16:9 screen ratio means websites have excess space at the sides when viewed in landscape mode and appear cropped in portrait mode. Rathakrishnan's response to this was that the JooJoo is trying to provide a pixel-accurate representation of the websites.
It is Flash-enabled so you can play videos from, say, YouTube. Its 1.6GHz Atom chip and the Nvidia Ion graphics chipset aid in the playback of full-screen high-definition Flash content.
One can choose to watch YouTube videos in Flash or as Mpeg files in JooJoo mode. This curious feature begs to be explored further when a review unit is available.
The camera allows for video-conferencing and the USB port allows you to connect external storage devices to view photos, movies and documents.
To move pages up and down, you swipe the screen with two fingers. Swipe upwards to close a webpage. Swipe sideways to move pages. The action is smooth. However, you cannot pinch to zoom.
There are two keyboard options: a small one for typing short phrases like URLs and a bigger one for regular typing.
The Linux-based browser is centred around several pre-set shortcuts to websites like Facebook, YouTube and Google. If you want to key in an URL, you have to open one of the shortcuts and change the address.
The battery life is said to be about five hours. After the hour-long demonstration, the tablet felt warm on my lap.
The JooJoo is available from thejoojoo.com. The iPad is expected to be here next month.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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