Fusion Garage has begun taking orders for its JooJoo internet tablet from UK customers, the company announced on Wednesday.
The Linux-based tablet has a 12.1-inch screen, making it slightly larger than Apple's rival device, the iPad, which will only go on sale in the UK at the end of May. The JooJoo has a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels and uses an Intel Atom processor with Nvidia Ion graphics processing. It has a 4GB solid-state drive and 1GB of RAM.
Like the iPad, the JooJoo has an onscreen virtual keyboard. Unlike the Apple slate, it runs Flash content and has a USB connection and a webcam.
The JooJoo has a nine-second boot-up time and a browser-based operating system. On Fusion Garage's website, the company addresses the issue of an application store — the distribution method favoured by Apple for its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad — by saying JooJoo "has the largest app store in the world... it's called the internet".
The JooJoo began its life as the CrunchPad, a collaboration between Fusion Garage and Michael Arrington, the entrepreneur behind the TechCrunch website. Arrington launched a lawsuit against Fusion Garage in December last year, after the company decided to release the device without his input.
The device is now shipping to US customers, after an initial delay. In a blog post on Monday, Fusion Garage chief Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan said the company had been overly optimistic in its delivery date estimates. He also conceded that the JooJoo's software had needed major revisions since the first review samples were sent out to a generally tepid reception.
"We are in the midst of 'bad JooJoo' for a very simple reason: we were aggressive in our product delivery commitments, decided to completely revise our UI as we were readying the product for release, and our initial units shipped with software that proved to be problematic when put to the test in the real world," Rathakrishnan wrote. "Embarrassing? Yes. Correctable? Absolutely. And we will.
"We will have a robust software update available shortly that we fully expect to eliminate many of the problems that were widely reported in our initial product review cycle. We will also be able to play full-screen HD video as promised via our Fusion Garage player," he added.
According to Fusion Garage, the JooJoo receives over-the-air software updates to add new functionality as it is developed.
UK customers can order the JooJoo through the Fusion Garage website at a cost of £319 plus tax and shipping. An optional stand for the device is available for £30 plus tax and shipping.
Fusion Garage's JooJoo internet tablet. Credit: Fusion Garage