Canonical’s First Ubuntu Tablet Available For Pre-Order

Subject: General Tech | March 30, 2016 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: ubuntu, linux, mediatek, SoC, arm, tablet

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, is now offering up its first Ubuntu tablet with Spanish manufacturing partner BQ. The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is a 10-inch tablet powered by ARM and loaded with Ubuntu 15.04.

The tablet features an all black (or white) case with rounded edges and a matte back. Mobilegeeks managed to get hands on with the Android version of the Aquaris M10 which you can check out here. The internals are a bit different on the Ubuntu Edition, but the chassis and design remains the same. It measures 8.2mm thick and weighs in at 470 grams (1.03 pounds). The front is dominated by a 10.1” AHVA touchscreen display that comes in either 1280 x 800 or Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution depending on the model. A capacitive home button sits below along with two 0.7W speakers while a 5MP webcam is positioned above the display. There is an 8MP rear camera, and the sides hold Micro HDMI, Micro USB, Micro SD, and 3.5mm audio ports.

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The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is powered by a quad core MediaTek SoC with Mali-T720MP2 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of eMMC storage (with approximately 10GB usable by end users) that can be expanded via Micro SD cards up to 64GB. The Full HD model uses the MediaTek MT8163A clocked at 1.5 GHz while the HD Aquaris M10 uses the slightly lower clocked MT8163B running at 1.3 GHz.

Wireless capabilities include 802.11n (dual band) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. It is powered by a 7,280 mAh Li-Po battery. BQ has pre-loaded the tablet with Ubuntu 15.04 which users will likely want to update once drivers are ready as it is End-of-Life.

The Aquaris M10 is available for pre-order now, with expected ship dates in early April. The HD Ubuntu Edition tablet is listed at €259.90 ($295) while the Full HD version will run you €299.90 ($340). Currently, the Full HD tablet comes in black and the HD tablet is all white. Both models come with a screen protector and case as a pre-order bonus.

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It is interesting to see an official Ubuntu tablet, but I wonder if this is too little, too late for the open source OS. Canonical is positioning this as a daily driver that can be a tablet when you want to be mobile, a PC when propped up with a case and paired with wireless keyboard and mouse, and a media streamer when connecting it to the big screen with HDMI. I would expect performance to improve over time once the community gets a hold of it and starts tweaking it though the hardware is going to be a limiting factor. I want a Linux tablet to succeed, and hopefully this will open the door for higher end models. I don’t see myself jumping on this particular one though at this price.

Are you excited for the Ubuntu Edition M10?


Source: Canonical

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March 30, 2016 | 09:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I realize that linux is pretty lightweight in general, but the specs are a bit underwhelming. This would be a much more intriguing proposition if the hardware were more impressive, even if it did mean an extra couple hundred bucks. I'd jump all over a Pixel-C or Surface caliber device that was designed with the sole purpose of running a Linux distro.

April 1, 2016 | 07:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Both of those devices seem more like a notebook replacement and less like a tablet.

March 31, 2016 | 05:13 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sure there are enough people out there who want a mobile OS that's not locked down, doesn't come loaded with spyware and has better support than the plethora of 1 dev maintained de-botnetted Android flavours.
I'm not planning on getting a tablet for the desktop functionality as I'm not a fan of Unity, but I did sign up to get notified when the Meizu made Ubuntu Touch phone that was supposed to come out mid March becomes available.

March 31, 2016 | 09:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

selection of apps is weak, but the length of support that could be provided is impressive, years from the company, years from canonical, and when those two give up, the images are open source so the community can take over. thats _really_ attractive. just need youtube & dropbox sync and be able to edit documents which i know libre office can do as thats what i use in work... this is actually really attractive. i just wonder about the battery...

March 31, 2016 | 04:26 PM - Posted by remc86007

I know what you're saying about support, but would you really still want to be using something with these specs years from now? I don't want to use something with these specs now...

March 31, 2016 | 10:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Needs more RAM for graphics uses. I'd love there to be 4 or more GB of RAM and HD for some graphics uses. It may run fine with 2GB of RAM for most uses but for graphics uses 4 or more GB of RAM is needed!

March 31, 2016 | 12:56 PM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

I would have like to see full Ubuntu running on Atom based tablet. There are lot of situation for me in development where carrying a linux based tablet/laptop is really useful. I will give this tablet a miss since its running on ARM based CPU.

March 31, 2016 | 01:05 PM - Posted by punkUser (not verified)

Curiously, is there anything preventing you from installing Ubuntu or similar on a Surface 3 or Surface Pro 4? I haven't tried, but I don't believe either of those machines are locked down to disallow it.

April 4, 2016 | 02:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes. M$ locks the bios out. Can't install a different OS....

March 31, 2016 | 07:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ATOMs come with crappy graphics, the ARM based SKUs have much better graphics with better power usage metrics than any x86 based SKUs! If you want better Intel graphics you will have to pay a high price, just don't ever expect Intel to offer it with their Atom SKUs.

When AMD's custom ARM core K12 comes to market even Apple will have to step up its game or Apple will find itself following and not leading. AMD's K12 cores could have SMT capabilities to go along with AMD's Polaris based graphics in an ARM besed APU. Jim Keller took a lot of the design elements from the x86 based Zen cores and used them in the custom K12 cores that will be running the ARMv8A ISA. So currently there are no ARMv8A ISA tunning custom cores with SMT abilities, but that could change with K12's arrival!

There needs to be more Linux based Tablets so hopefully this is a start with more Full Linux tablet offerings to come! With Zen I'm looking forward to some OEM based Full Linux laptops with Intel Outside and AMD inside.

April 2, 2016 | 06:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There's an Indiegogo for just that, by the way, which I know ... crowdfunding, but better than nothing.

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