The JingPad A1 is a tablet with premium specs and software that’s both unusual, and unfinished. Launched last year by a Chinese startup called Jingling, the JingPad A1 was designed to run a tablet-friendly Linux distribution called JingOS.

But the company that makes the tablet (and its operating system) has fallen on hard times, putting the future of the JingPad A1 in doubt. Already own one? You may be able to give the tablet new life thanks to a different Linux distribution: You can now install Ubuntu Touch on the JingPad A1 tablet.

JingOS is a Linux-based operating system that’s capable of running desktop Linux applications and some Android apps. But its claim to fame is that it has a custom user interface optimized for tablets, giving the Linux distro an iOS or Android-like feel.

But the operating system is still rather rough around the edges, and it’s unclear how much support users can expect moving forward after Jingling laid off some of its staff and sold off JingPad A1 tablets are fire sale prices.

While the company did provide instructions for unlocking the bootloader and installing Google Android, but it’s a Chinese-language version of Android without access to the Google Play Store.

Now there’s another OS option though. Developers of Ubuntu Touch recently released a test build for the tablet. At the time you needed to jump through some hoops to install it. But the process should be a lot simpler now that you can use the official UBPorts Installer to load the operating system on the JingPad A1.

Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution developed by UBPorts that rose out of the ashes of Canonical’s efforts to build an official version of Linux for smartphones and tablets nearly a decade ago. Canonical eventually gave up on the project, but UBPorts picked up the pieces and continued developing the mobile Linux distro.

You can find out more about Ubuntu Touch at the UBPorts website or by perusing the operating system’s documentation.

The JingPad A1, meanwhile, is an 11 inch tablet with a 2368 x 1728 pixel AMOLED display, a Unisoc Tiger &510 octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, an 8,000 mAh battery, 16MP rear and 8MP front-facing cameras, and support for finger and pen input as well as an optional keyboard cover.

 

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  1. I read that a Chinese tech fund invested millions of dollars in the company a few months ago, so they have enough money to continue to develop.