We’ve given a great deal of coverage to the iPad lately, but another tablet device has come out at about the same time. How does the much-anticipated Fusion Garage JooJoo, nee TechCrunch CrunchPad, do?

Engadget has a pretty comprehensive review, including an 8-minute video walkthrough that puts the device through its paces. The results are not encouraging: when compared to the iPad, the JooJoo consistently comes up short.

It has a much shorter (as in, 2.5 hours under average use) battery life (and the device gets quite warm under load), heavier weight, screen not viewable from as wide an angle as the iPad’s, has only 4 gigs of storage (it’s meant as a web tablet, not a local media consumption tablet), and the lack of a “home” button sometimes makes backing out of the browser a problem.

Engadget concludes:

Even putting aside the fact that Apple’s $499 iPad brings more to the table than just web browsing, the JooJoo is less portable, has a worse (if larger) screen, is unintuitive to use, and ships with half-baked software. We commend the start-up on its nice piece of hardware design, but until the software is given some much-needed love and the price is seriously reevaluated we simply cannot recommend this tablet.

In a follow-up, Engadget notes that even Adobe (whose software JooJoo uses) is quick to distance itself from the JooJoo’s poor performance, saying Fusion Garage used “a public beta release [of Flash] designed only for desktop use,” and other manufacturer’s tablets will implement Flash much better.

CNet’s reviewer Donald Bell only had about 24 hours with his JooJoo before it conked out and he had to request a replacement from Fusion Garage. He writes:

In the 24 hours I had with the JooJoo before it went belly-up, the experience left plenty to be desired. Let’s just say that Engadget’s assessment had me nodding sympathetically. Managing and closing Web pages is a glitchy experience, the unique two-finger scrolling often had me selecting page links accidentally, and the product’s flagship feature—Flash support—offered spotty performance.

Priya Ganapati at Wired’s “Gadget Lab” blog more or less concurs, concluding that “JooJoo is no Apple iPad killer”.

So it appears that, compared to the iPad, the JooJoo really is “bad juju.” Perhaps Michael Arrington should be grateful that TechCrunch didn’t end up associated with it in the final analysis.


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