The JingPad A1 is an 11 inch tablet with an 11 inch tablet with an octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and touchscreen-friendly Linux distribution called JingOS.

First unveiled in April, the makers of the tablet have now announced that it will be available for pre-order for $549 starting June 15th through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The tablet will begin shipping to backers September 27th.

That’s only part of the announcement though – there’s also a JingPad A1 beta program that will let 100 people save $99 and and get a tablet two months early.

In order to get that discount, you’ll need to spend $20 up front though, which is kind of strange. And you’ll also need to understand that when the JingPad A1 beta units begin shipping on July 30th, they’ll feature the final hardware, but alpha or beta software that lacks support for over-the-air updates.

That means that users who want to upgrade to the stable version of JingOS when it’s available later this year will need to manually install the software.

Beta units will also be WiFi-only tablets that come with a digital pen, but not a keyboard (although beta customers will get a $50 discount if they want to buy the keyboard when it’s available).

Unsurprisingly, the makers of the JingPad A1 tablet only recommend joining the beta program if you’re a Linux enthusiast interested in testing new hardware and software and providing feedback.

JingOS and the JingPad A1 are both products from a Chinese company called Jingling, and the tablet is the company’s first hardware product. So, as with any crowdfunding campaign, it’s probably a good idea to proceed with caution and maybe even operate under the assumption that the timeline laid out is more of an estimate than a promise and that the finished product may not live up to its promise, if it ships at all (some crowdfunding campaigns end in failure).

But JingOS is a real thing that you can already download and try for yourself, whether the tablet ever arrives or not. It’s based on Ubuntu Linux and features elements of KDE Plasma and Plasma Mobile as well as Jingling’s own custom UI elements and applications.

It’s also expected to be available for smartphones at some point.

As for the tablet, here’s a run-down of its specs:

Jingpad A1
Display11 inch
AMOLED
2368 x 1728 pixels
266 pixels per inch
4:3 aspect ratio
“almost 90%” screen-to-body ratio
109% NTSC color gamut
350 nits
ProcessorUnisoc Tiger T7510
4 x ARM Cortex-A75 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores @ 1.8 GHz
PowerVR GM9446 GPU @ 800 MHz
RAM8GB
Storage256GB
Cameras & mics16MP rear
8MP front
Dual-mic array
Battery & Charging8,000 mAh
18W charger (3 hours for full charge)
Connectivity4G/5G modem
(Not supported in all countries, a list is coming in June, 2021)
Bluetooth 5.0
Dual-band WiFi
USB Type-C OTG
InputCapacitive touchscreen
Pen  with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity (optional)
Keyboard with 6-rows and touchpad (optional)
SoftwareLinux-based JingOS
Support for Android apps
Dimensions6.7mm thick (0.26 inches)
Weight500 grams (1.1 pounds)

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28 Comments

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  1. My goodness! The xenophobic venom just drips from the comment section, eh? Yes, I am aware the Chinese government (not to be confused with the people of China) is not to be trusted, anymore than the other governments of the world, USA included (perhaps especially so). Isn’t that one of the benefits of Free/Open source? There’s nothing stopping anyone (other than laziness or ignorance) from looking at the code, monitoring the net traffic, and verifying what data leaves the box. If you are worried about your privacy, I hope you’re not using Google Chrome, Google Anything, really. And you use a VPN every time you connect, on every device you use, right? Privacy is an important topic; definitely a legitimate concern. But I smell some hypocritical rats in here.
    I’ve been using Linux since kernel 0.99 and it’s been my daily driver since ~1998. I take every opportunity I can to support the Kernel, the distros built on it, and the products that ship with it. I even made a list a few years back for being one of the Most Powerful Voices in Open Source. My friends are tired of hearing about Linux. I will support this product by buying it when I can (I like the design & the performance seems snappy in the demos), and spreading the word till then. Let’s support all efforts to bring Linux products to the mainstream user where ever they (the products) originate. If you seriously won’t use something solely because it’s from China, throw away all your electronics right now. Any chip on any of your devices might be sending your data to the Dark Lord. 😉

    1. That seems to have been a recent change, and until it’s available for purchase, I’m not sure it’s an official one. As recently as last week, Jingling had been saying 6GB of RAM in social media posts.

  2. At this price point I think I’d sooner get a refurbished convertible laptop and install whatever distro I want on it, then recreate most of the GUI with plasma widgets.
    At the possible price point of this plus keyboard plus stylus, I might even get a new one.

  3. This is a terrible deal. Don’t fall for it. Its CPU (a Hisense A7, hence the Tiger T7510 cores at 2 GHz) is absolute weak sauce. It gets a Geekbench 5 score of just 347 single, 1417 multi. Yet they want $549? They’ve got to be kidding us. The processor in here fails to compare favorably even with modern sub-$100 devices. Garbageware.

  4. I’m not convinced. I backed the original Remix tablet, and the mini. Then got shafted with the pro. This feels similar. New OS, new hardware, big ideas… probably gone in two years. Nice but no thanks.

  5. It’s nice to see Ubuntu without the Gnome 3 Vertical Dock and without the Activities Overlay. JingOS looks like a NORMAL desktop for a change. I’m sure it works fine with a keyboard and mouse/touchpad, but I’m curious how well JingOS will support touchscreen tablet mode.

  6. If there was a gold medal for operating systems that I would never consider touching…

  7. This SoC is around the level of a Snapdragon 720G, with the mediocre graphics capabilities unknown. Also the screen is pretty dim, rated at a 350nits max. Overall, this is a very mid-range experience, at a somewhat steep price around USD $600.

    Now the good news?
    Well, the hardware design looks good. And the software design looks good. These are two things commonly missing from Linux devices. Also, this is a niche so simply being an option is good. To me this looks like one of the few legitimate attempts to being open-source devices to the mainstream, wether that’s from China, USA, Romania doesn’t faze me much.

    There’s a lot to like here, and this should be an instant buy for majority of readers here. The criticisms don’t really stack up. It’s refreshing to finally see a Linux device which doesn’t have a Cortex A53/Intel Atom processor… or one that’s only limited to 480p-900p resolutions. If this device was released by Jolla, there would be x50 more hype behind it, no doubt.

    1. I’m just not interested in an OS built and updated out of China. There’s absolutely nothing to protect my privacy, or defend my personal interests.

      1. Sure, but that should apply to other countries too, no? Besides, this is meant to be the start of a Linux-for-Mainstream, so if you’re not satisfied you could just flash Ubuntu or something else?

        Obviously, I want to hold judgement until the product ships. But my point is that, despite the negative downsides of this product (that show it is lacklustre in real-world comparisons), overall it is a phenomenal product when you look at it from the lens of Linux/open-source. I mean, that niche has been pretty unimpressive for the longest time.

        So then, where is the hype? Just google JingPad, and there’s really not much members and news outlets interested in this at all. If this product, with no changes whatsoever, was released by a small group from Germany, there would be so much buzz. It shows a double-standard at play.

        1. It absolutely applies to other countries too. I wouldn’t use an OS (or a service that retains personal meta data) built and supported out of North Korea, Russia, India, or any other country with abysmal data protection or privacy laws.

          I’m not worried about the intentions of the people that are part of this JingOS team, I’m worried about what would prevent their project from becoming a government asset, with or without their knowledge. Is my farmed meta-data accessible to other parties in China?

          And my concerns aren’t even 100% for myself, I’m more concerned for the people in China. Their government is appearing to be supporting more technology with all components made inside China, OS included.

          Of course this could be viewed as them anticipating upcoming foreign political issues that could make huge difficulties for their tech sector, who might be banned from joining international consortiums, which could make it difficult to continue supporting foreign owned technology.

          However, it isn’t good for the people of China to be living in a country where their government sits in a position where it could wave it’s hand and have 100% control over all of the technology within the country.

          If the US government already subpoenas this kind of information from American tech giants to defend their own political and judicial efforts, do you think China would hesitate for a second to try to collect data on political opponents in foreign countries, or ex-pat Chinese people who oppose them from overseas?

    2. This SoC is around the level of a Snapdragon 720G

      Hisense A7 actually has nearly half the single-threaded performance, at 40% less performance. The multicore performance may be close, falling 20% short, but responsiveness is always closely tied to single-threaded, so this is a slug. So with good reason, this processor is generally only used in e-ink devices where responsiveness is not a requirement (https://www.reddit.com/r/eink/comments/l5quxb/hisense_a7_processor_benchmarked_and_it_is_quite/). And even in $400 e-ink devices, Hisense A7 has been widely panned for its substandard performance. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

  8. I think most important handicap for such products is industy-wide, “uninvented yet” “design language” and then after gui approach accordingly.
    Nice. They’ve done some good native apps with their api but what about the rest? Maybe they wish to tempt devs to write apps with their api. So, how will jingos native apps will act and look on other distros then? Probably users feel a little bit unconfortable while switching apps with different gui approach. ie libreoffice etc.

  9. I find this project quite interesting, but for me there are three reasons to probably not join in at this time.
    1) I find it a bit strange that they won’t seem to specify more clearly how they’re going to support Android apps before crowd funding starts. a
    Apparently there’s no maybe support for Google services, and I suspect also Google Play. That’s fair enough, but depending on ones requirements it might be important to know whether there’ll be a way to get certain paid apps to run. I’d be most interested in Squid for presenting slides etc and being able to annotate them with the pen, but the pdf function is paid for, so I’d probably not be able to use it. Of course, if native Linux apps like xournal work alright, in my case that might be a feasible workaround.
    2) They’re apparently not using a mainline kernel. I’m not sure if this is planned eventually, but if the goal is real long term support, if feel much better that way. A branched kernel tends to eventually end up abandoned, defeating the aim of long-term support.
    3) I don’t know if the device supports Miracast, but given that to my knowledge there’s sadly no implementation available on Linux ( 🙁 ), I suspect it won’t. For me that’s unfortunately a knock out criterion, as it precludes my intended classroom uses of projecting wirelessly via an Intel Wireless Display dongle as I currently do/did (well, before everything moved fully digital) with a Samsung tablet.

    If the price point was lower, I’d be tempted to still get the device, but if I can’t actually use it for my main work purposes, I can’t really justify the expense.
    But I’m still quite curious where this will go, would be nice to have more options. (And it would be even nicer if there was some way to get Miracast support on Linux after all, this is one of the main reasons why I’m using an Android tablet rather than my Linux laptop for presentations.)

    1. I got a reply on the discord channel that apparently WiFi display is supported, which would address my concern 3. I didn’t see it on the available information material yet, so I’m not sure if this will actually be able to do what I expect in terms of projecting, sure would be nice though!

  10. Oh my this like this could give the MS Surface a run for its money. By the way, do you know if there is a Paint 3D alternative in the OPEN SOURCE Community?

    1. I wish Jingling the best, but the odds are against then. Their pricing doesn’t help. Among other things, Unisoc processors are unproven for premium devices.