Vivaldi KDE open source Linux tablet gets new hardware, could launch this spring

KDE Plasma Active developer Aaron Seigo has been working to bring a tablet running open source Linux-based software to market for over a year. While the project has hit some roadbumps, Seigo says factory tooling for a new tablet has begun, and the first models could roll off the production line by May.

While Seigo isn’t ready to provide specs for the new tablet yet, he says the Vivaldi tablet that’s currently in the works has a higher-resolution screen and faster processor than the model the team had planned to release in 2012.

The original plan for the Vivaldi tablet had been to find a Chinese device maker that was able to provide source code for existing hardware so the KDE team could create a fully function, and entirely open source disk image that would run on the tablet.

But that’s tough to do — even if you do find a device that’s open enough to use, there’s a good chance that the device maker will discontinue that product in a few months to pave the way for something else — which may not be quite as open.

So the KDE team went and designed their own tablet from the ground up (well not entirely from the ground up — the process involves picking an existing processor and chips for wireless connectivity, sensors, and other hardware and then designing a printed circuit board to put it altogether).

KDE Plasma Active

That means that the Vivaldi tablets in the works right now will be fully supported by the KDE Plasma Active team, as will any future devices. There are already plans for additional devices with faster, multi-core processors. We could also see different form factors entirely, including set-top-boxes or in-vehicle systems in addition to tablets.

Seigo says he should be ready to talk more about the project and start announcing partners in late February or early March.

That said, the Vivaldi open source project has seen enough delays over the past year that I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for everything to happen exactly on schedule.

via Mobile Geeks

  • Ryan Northrup

    I’m keeping my eye on this one. Can’t wait for the specs to come out.

    • WorkingWriter

      My hopes on this have been dashed before, but I’ll be really excited if this happens!

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.huddleston Greg Huddleston

    Seems like the holy grail in these projects is to get X11 GPU accelerated… No one has gotten this going to my knowledge yet. No one is going to wait for windows to re-draw regardless of how much they ‘like’ the underlying OS

    • http://www.facebook.com/mr.e.cameron Earl Cameron

      lima is almost ready give or take a few months, so most mali gpus are a good target.

    • Colin Griffith

      KDE runs on more than X11 now; they might be using Wayland or something else.

    • Andreas Wallberg

      The quad core 1.2 Ghz i.mx6q SOC by Freescale uses the GC2000 Vivante Quad Core GPU that does OpenGL 3.0, X11 and has video acceleration in Gstreamer. It is used in the
      Zealz GK802 Android TV-stick and work is being done to run Ubuntu on it. This is quite likely a nice future platform for a Plasma tablet.

  • NOX

    Ehh, KDE has always been gaudy and overly flashy to me.
    Like the stillborn bastard child of Windows Vista and OSX

    • Ryan Northrup

      I mostly use KDE to show off to Windows users who claim that my comparisons of Linux’s low minimum specs to Vista/7′s high minimum specs are unfair because of Aero; I’ve had success running Kubuntu with as little as 512MB of RAM on a machine with an integrated NVidia GeForce chipset (which thus siphoned off quite a bit of RAM for video memory), and it *still* ran faster than a Vista machine with 1GB of RAM, a much newer/fancier processor, and much better graphics (though still integrated, I believe), while throwing fancy graphics effects left and right. That was a few years ago, though.

    • gerry

      Really?
      Because you have used THE KDE desktop? For real?

      There is no such thing, KDE can be as eye candied as you want it to be. Or dont.

      Ive installed KDE-Linux on about a dozen computer from family-friends and none look the same.
      Different themes, windowing, icons, some use virutal deskops, some use Activities, side bars, bottom panels, top panels, panels that disappear or just Cairo Docks 1001 looks.

      The beauty of KDE is that it can be customized to YOUR needs. (which makes it a nightmare to market since its easier to push ‘this is our look’.

      And I say this as someone who hates most of the KDE defaults (I hate Oxygen). Never bothered me.

      Then again, I know friends who never changed their wallpapers and alwys used their XP ones while the day I discovered that I could use any picture in Netscape to make my own wallpaper was the last day I used a default wallpaper.

      I dont have to use exploding buttons or other effects if I dont want to while some others like transparency are must haves.
      Dont like something? Dont use it.

  • fred

    dont need or want a tablet because I prefer the netbook keyboards but the only thing that will stop me from buying this will be lack of SD storage. i carry my digital media on SD or USB when I want to consume it and the Google one was a non-starter.

    while not a deal breaker, if they add a video out to attach to TV, it would just blow my mind.

    • Nemo

      same here, i didnt buy the Nexus 7 because there was no SD card and no USB slot.
      most of my digital media is on these two formats.

      • CutTheCrap

        I have a Nexus 10 and use USB and SD storage on it all the time. It’s so hard to spend 5 minutes and $10 on ebay isn’t it? Use some initiative and stop complaining, your lazyness and stupidity are not anyone else’s fault

  • Nice2

    Try founding this on Kickstarter ;) it might just work