Surprise, Surprise, the JooJoo Is a Turd

Paul Miller reviews the JooJoo tablet for Engadget. It stinks. It’s fast, though, but — shockingly — Flash video performance is horrendous:

Software issues aside, the JooJoo actually happens to be quite speedy thanks to its 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB solid state drive. It only takes about 7 seconds to boot and toggling between the menus is snappy. WiFi speeds were also quite fast with it taking 11 seconds to load Engadget and 8 seconds to bring up

But what about Flash? This is supposed to be the big differentiator, right? The iPad killer! In an interesting move, Fusion Garage coupled the Atom processor with NVIDIA’s Ion graphics to aid in playing full screen Flash video (or for doing… something). Unfortunately, the software just isn’t there yet. Currently the device is running Flash 10.1 beta 1, and won’t have hardware-accelerated Flash video for a good while now (the timing is partly reliant on Adobe support, and is labelled as a “work in progress” by JooJoo). That means some regular-sized YouTube and Hulu works, as decoded by the CPU, but full screen Hulu is jittery, and a 720p YouTube clip is like watching a slideshow. In one of the biggest moves of irony, JooJoo has actually implemented a hack for YouTube where you can view a video in Flash or in “JooJoo” mode which is a straight playback of the MPEG video file every YouTube video harbors. What does this remind us of? HTML 5, albeit with a less elegant implementation. This of course only works on YouTube right now, though JooJoo says it plans on supporting other sites in the future. Watch the video below for yourselves to see all this Flash tragedy play out.

(Ironically, Engadget’s video demos are only available in Flash. Why would a website devoted to leading-edge gadgetry continue to embed video in a format that can’t be played on the best web-reading gadget? If your video doesn’t play on the iPad, you’re like Steve Allen mocking the lyrics to rock-and-roll songs — an anachronism.)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010