Chinese device maker Cube offers a range of tablets with Android, Windows, or both. Now the company’s launching its first tablet running Ubuntu Linux.

The Cube i7-CM is a tablet with an Intel Core M processor Canonical’s Linux-based operating system. It launches in China this week, but you should be able to have one shipped internationally if you find a seller at AliExpress or a store that exports Chinese tablets.

cube i7-cm

At launch a limited number of tablets will be sold for $399 before the price goes up (to an unspecified amount).

The tablet features an 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS display, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of solid state storage. It’s powered by Intel’s 14nm Core M-5Y10C dual-core processor with Intel HD 5300 graphics. That’s the same chip found in the Asus Zenbook UX305, so check out my review of that laptop if you want to get a sense of what kind of performance to expect.

The Cube i7-CM supports 3G WCDMA/GSM networks as well as WiFi and Bluetooth and other features include:

  • Front and rear cameras
  • microSD card slot
  • micro SIM card support
  • micro HDMI port
  • micro USB 3.0 port
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • stereo speakers
  • 5,000 mAh battery

While the Ubuntu software will probably be the most compelling feature for some potential customers, the tablet should also be able to run Windows 8.1. You’ll just have to pay extra if you want a Windows license: according to Cngadget, Cube will offer the i7-CM tablet with an unlicensed “trial version” of Windows 8.1.

via Cngadget and GizChina


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26 replies on “Cube i7-CM is an Ubuntu tablet with Intel Core M”

  1. So does this tablet really run Ubuntu desktop or is it Ubuntu touch I want Ubuntu desktop?

  2. Considering this is a Chinese product and what the Chinese did to Android:

    What repository is the Ubuntu version using? Is it Canonicals official or some state controlled Chinese version? Also, how many applications have been ported?

    1. Well its basically an Intel PC with a display integrated, so no I don’t think that you need some secret Chinese sauce for it 😉

  3. Yeah, we need more Ubuntu and Linux computers and tablets and smartphones!!!!

  4. What would make this (or anything like this interesting) is support for external keyboard AND mouse. That THING Apple WON’T do to enforce a $1299 policy on all laptops.

    1. Check out their current progress on convergence:

      Connect a Bluetooth mouse to go to desktop mode, disconnect to go back to tablet mode. I did post this elsewhere in the comments here, but it seemed like it might interest you, too.

      Note that these features are brand new and possibly not yet even committed to their public source code repos. So it’s almost certainly that they won’t be on this tablet as shipped. But they’re clearly getting closer to release.

  5. its available for weeks on geekbuying, wondered why nobody notice them so far.
    the i7 version with 4gb ram and 128gb for 672$
    kinda expensive for a chinese tablet with questionable battery

      1. Every time a tablet get some Linux love out of the box it always has worse spec somewhere, than the same windows model.

  6. This $399 link from the Cube website takes you to aliexpress where the prices is $532 for 64GB and 782.67 for the 128GB model and more for Blue-tooth Keyboard. If the Keyboard in the pics below are the one included this looks really sweet. Just a little high for my taste and wish the Battery was a bit bigger. Looks like the 128 may be windows and the 64 might only be Ubuntu from description below though.

  7. Sweet, not sure if I should be more excited about this one or the Jolla Tablet. Would be nice to see a video of it in action. Would love to know if this can install Plasma Active too. I assume it should be able to but would nice to see if confirmed.

  8. Worried about quality on this tab. I have had 2 cube u30gt2(bought 2nd after the inner screen started to go bad, 2nd for 95$ on ebay last year. It’s still a strong tablet, but I’ve had to flash succesive custom roms to get it optimized and it is still not living to it’s capacity due to the poor workmanship. Wifi is still a problem. Great tablet though!

  9. Intel Core M is different from Intel i7, correct? If so, that product id number they’re using (i7-CM) is incredibly misleading. Casual observers with a little knowledge of Intel’s processors might get the mistaken impression that this thing has an i7 in it.

  10. I would love an Ubuntu device at the price point of Cube’s cheap Windows tablets. That would be less powerful, but more attractive to me.

    1. Yeah, love Ubuntu but how useful in a touch only tablet? And why the expense
      of an i7? A lot of horsepower but how to make use of it? Seems like an
      Atom or i3 would be more the thing and a lower price to go along.

      1. Ubuntu is actually quite responsive on a touch interface forget their endeavor into mobile phones and convergence, their current software sports some nice touch interactions that you’ll quickly grow to miss with windows such as 3 finger, grab spread to maximize ,pinch to window and 4 finger tap to bring up unity interface.

      2. Well, first off, like jon pointed out it’s a Core M and not a i7… So it’s actually less powerful than a Core i3 but more powerful than a ATOM… Core M is basically the Broadwell version of the Core Y-series low power chips that fits in the transitional region between the ATOM and Core sides of the market… It’s expensive, though, and unless the tablet is properly designed then it may run into throttling issues if the chip gets too hot… but works in a fan-less tablet a lot easier than a Core i3 would and the low SDP means it can generally still provide very good battery life…

        While the main problem for the OS is the lack of touch enabled apps, they have a few they ported from the Ubuntu Touch project but generally most apps won’t support the advance touch features… and those apps that do may not work well with a keyboard and mouse as the counter issue…

        The desktop also basically runs into the same problem as the Windows desktop with the buttons and windows edges generally being too small for smudgy/inaccurate finger taps to hit precisely enough… You can work with it but it can take getting used to…

        Canonical eventually plans to converge the Ubuntu Touch and desktop Ubuntu projects together for a single OS that covers multiple devices but till then you’re still dealing with a primarily GNU/Linux desktop OS for the traditional Ubuntu that’s best optimized for use with a Keyboard and Mouse…

        Albeit, there are some nice touch features available now that can help but features alone aren’t always enough for a proper user experience and it usually takes a bottom to top re-working of the OS to properly optimize it and not just slapping on some features to the existing framework…

        Alternatively, you can see if the Ubuntu Touch version is available for the device, it’ll be primarily a mobile experience but they’re working on giving it a desktop mode and other enhancements…

        On the other hand, it’s not like there are many other GNU/Linux distros working on touch support right now… and when they eventually converge the projects it should be a pretty good solution down the road…

      3. Canonical has been doing a lot of work on their touch interface, and of course the first generation of phones is out now. But as part of that they’ve also been working on convergence, and there was a demo of the current state of that in-house (the code wasn’t committed to their public source code repos at the time the demo was made), and it’s really taking shape. You can access desktop applications from the tablet interface, and the tablet automatically switches to desktop mode when a Bluetooth mouse is connected. Not ready for primetime… But its definitely getting there:

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