One of the Apple iPad’s most infamous features is a non-feature: It doesn’t support Adobe Flash. You could make a case that this will force web publishers to adopt new standards such as HTML5 for web video. But that’s long-term thinking. In the short run, Flash is everywhere and there’s a whole lot of web content that you may not be able to access with an iPad on launch day. But the iPad ain’t the only touchscreen tablet on the horizon. Here are two new models expected to ship in February or March.
The ExoPC Slate is an 8.9 inch tablet with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU. 2GB of RAM, and a 32G SSD. It has a 1024 x 600 pixel display, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and an SD card slot for expansion, runs Windows 7, and has a custom user interface to make the computer easier to use without a keyboard and mouse. It will run $599, and is due out in March.
The JooJoo is a 12.1 inch tablet with a high resolution 1366 x 768 pixel display and a custom operating system designed primarily to support a WebKit-based browser. This is the tablet formerly known as the CrunchPad, before TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington had a falling out with the folks at Fusion Garage, the company behind the JooJoo. It’s not entirely clear whether this product will actually ship, due to ongoing legal issues, but Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan says it will begin shipping before the end of February for $499.
While neither the JooJoo nor the ExoPC will have Apple’s slick user interface or support for the 140,000 iPhone apps that can run on the iPad, they do both support Adobe Flash. Since the ExoPC runs Windows 7, I suppose you’ll also be able to run iTunes on it, and possibly even the upcoming iBooks application too.