Open source software company Canonical has just rolled out a Linux-powered tablet. The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, the first fully converged Ubuntu device, carries the latest iteration of its Linux mobile operating system. Canonical is billing the device as a hybrid tablet-desktop.
Over 30 million desktop users have Ubuntu installed on their machines and mobile devices -- and Canonical’s first three Ubuntu phone models sold out when they came to market in 2015, according to the company. With the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet (pictured above), Canonical said "Ubuntu is the only platform that runs both a mobile-based full touch interface and a true PC experience from a single smart device." And that paves the way to device convergence among customers who use PCs and touchscreen mobile devices, the company said.
This “isn’t a phone interface stretched to desktop size,” said Canonical CEO Jane Silber in a statement. Rather, it offers the appropriate user experience and interaction for the type of device that carries it, she said.
One of the questions people ask about mobile operating systems concerns the depth of the app ecosystem and Canonical said there are hundreds of apps in the Ubuntu App Store. The tablet also lets users access content and services through what the company calls "scopes" in the App Store. Scopes are like individual home screens for different kinds of content, giving users access to everything from movies and music to local services and social media, without having to go through individual apps.
The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet offers a laundry list of features. One of the most interesting is “side stage,” which lets you view two different apps on the same screen for multitasking. Users can communicate from the desktop interface using the phone’s telephony and messaging apps, and responsive applications work with touch and point-and-click. File browsing, file and folder creation and management helps users stay organized, the company said.
The tablet also offers a touch experience and connectivity through a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which essentially transforms the tablet into a Unbuntu-powered PC. A user can also connect the tablet to a display for a full-size PC feel, according to the company.
Specs-wise, the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet has a 10.1-inch screen. It's 8.2 mm thin and weighs about 470 grams, including the 7280 MAh LiPo battery. It carries a MediaTek Quad Core MT8163A to 1.5 GHz processor.
Tablet Party Is Over
Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, did not seem to be impressed with the new device. He asked: No one told Canonical that the tablet party's over?
“Established brands like Samsung and Apple are having a hard time keeping volumes up, and these guys are still selling piece parts? Totally good luck with that,” Kay said. “Maybe if they can price them at $29.99, but I'm not seeing where the market for this product is.”
Canonical is betting, though, that enterprises will see the value. The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet works with virtual desktop infrastructure and thin client services. The Ubuntu OS is stocked with system-based enterprise-grade security. Canonical is positioning the tablet as strategic for companies that want strict control over their systems without interference from third-party access.
As for consumers, Canonical hopes everyday Joes who like to connect their PCs to TVs will glom on to the tablets. The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet will be on sale during the second quarter of 2016. The company did not offer pricing.
Image Credit: Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, via Ubuntu.>