The JingPad A1 is an 11 inch tablet with an AMOLED display, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and support for pen and touch input as well as an optional keyboard. But the main thing that sets the JingPad A1 apart from most tablets on the market is that it runs a custom Linux-based operating system called JingOS.

Chinese startup Jingling has been promoting the upcoming tablet for a few months, and now the company has launched a JingPad A1 crowdfunding campaign with Indiegogo.

The first 300 backers can reserve a JingPad A1 tablet + digital pen for a pledge of $549, and Jingling hopes to begin shipping hardware in September. The price goes up by $50 if that Early Bird deal sells out.

There’s also a $699 Early Bird (or $749 regular Indiegogo price) bundle that includes the tablet, pen, and a magnetic keyboard cover.

Powered by a Unisoc Tiger T7510 processor (with four ARM Cortex-A75 CPU cores, four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, and PowerVR GM9466 graphics), the JingPad A1 likely won’t be the fastest tablet in this price range. If you’re looking for a high-performance device regardless of operating system, you might be better off with an Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series device.

But it’s the Linux-based operating system that sets the JingPad A1 apart, and it has better (on paper at least) specs than some other mobile devices that come with Linux pre-installed, succh as the PinePhone, PineTab, and Librem 5.

JingOS is a Linux-based operating system designed with tablets in mind. It has a touch-based user interface that resembles Android or iOS including a full-screen app launcher, a dock, and a status bar with pull-down areas for notifications and quick settings.

It’s based on Ubuntu and features elements of KDE and KDE Plasma Mobile as well as custom user interface features. As such, you should be able to run many GNU/Linux applications out of the box with no modifications, although not all of those apps will be optimized for touchscreen input or small displays. That’s where having a stylus, keyboard, and touchpad can come in handy.

But with a growing number of software developers working on convergent Linux applications that scale well to different screen sizes for use on phones, tablets, and laptops, the list of mobile-friendly Linux programs is getting longer all the time.

Jingling also addresses a bit of the app gap problem by incorporating support for running some Android applications within JingOS. The company says its Android app compatibility feature is a work in progress and not all Android apps will work. But those that do will run as if they were native apps, with no need to fire up a virtual machine or container.

One thing that’s unclear though, is whether the JingPad A1 will support a mainline Linux kernel or if it will have to rely on an Android hardware abstraction layer (like Halium) or other proprietary services to run Linux on a device with a Unisoc Tiger T7510 processor.

While you can already download and run early builds of JingOS on third-party hardware, so far the company has only offered builds for computers with x86 processors.

Here’s a run-down of key specs for the JingPad A1 tablet:

Jingpad A1
Display11 inch
2368 x 1728 pixels
266 pixels per inch
4:3 aspect ratio
“almost 90%” screen-to-body ratio
109% NTSC color gamut
350 nits
Processor12nm Unisoc 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
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
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)

You can find more details at the JingPad website or the JingPad A1 Indiegogo crowdfunding page.

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One reply on “Crowdfunding for the JingPad A1 Linux tablet begins”

  1. I’m impressed that they have this tablet launching in short time after the launch of the OS.

    Having said that, I’m going to be watching this one from the side-lines, I want to wait to see what kind of privacy/security concerns might come up.

    I’m not very keen on the idea of using an OS that stores personal data about me in China (or any country that offers no legal protections for privacy and data collection). I’m really assuming here that the OS does things like that, because they’re talking about having an App Store of their own, so presumably there is going to be baked-in online services like that.

    I’m also still waiting to see what the “angle” is behind JingOS. I’m a bit hesitant to believe that this is just an Open Source project being run by some open source enthusiasts. I’m more inclined to believe that the goal here is to sell a homegrown-Chinese OS to Chinese computer makers (something along the lines of Android, with baked-in services).

    It will still be interesting to see what kind of progress this makes towards touchscreen-based Linux OS’s, and the software needed in that endeavour. Perhaps if JingOS presents any privacy or security concerns, we might see a “De-jingified JingOS”

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