It’s been close to a year since Jolla launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a tablet powered by Sailfish OS, and now the Jolla Tablet it’s finally shipping to backers of that campaign.

Jolla says it sent out the first orders this week, with more to follow.
jolla tablet_02

The tablet features a 7.85 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel IPS display, an Intel Atom Z3735F Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, front and rear cameras, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4,450 mAh battery.

All told, it has the kind of hardware you’d expect from a decent 2014-era Windows or Android tablet. But what makes the Jolla Tablet different is that it runs Sailfish OS, a Linux-based operating system developed by Jolla.

The company was founded by former Nokia employees and Sailfish is a continuation of the work Nokia had put into the MeeGo operating system before deciding to start producing phones that run Windows (and eventually selling its phone hardware business to Microsoft).

Sailfish has a gesture-based user interface that lets you access the launcher, running apps, notifications, and other features by swiping or tapping on the home screen. In addition to native Jolla apps, the operating system can support some, but not all Android apps.

The Jolla Phone and Jolla Tablet are the only phones that ship with the operating system, but it’s also been ported to a number of other devices including Google Nexus phones and tablets.

Want to get your hands on a Jolla Tablet? Right now the company is only shipping units to backers of its Indiegogo campaign. You can sign up to be notified if and when more units are available… but now that Jolla is scaling back its hardware ambitions to work on licensing its software, I wouldn’t expect mass production of a tablet with last year’s hardware to be a high priority for the company.


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6 replies on “Jolla Tablet with Sailfish OS is finally shipping”

  1. As a longtime (but amateur) Linux user, I don’t see how Sailfish benefits me over Android.

    While Android doesn’t natively have everything a full Linux OS could have, necessity has caused the community to build support for almost everything you could want to do.

    I do, however, see lots of benefits for development. From what I understand, Android is very much favored towards Java.

    1. In theory, the advantages for a power user are legion. Sailfish is a true GNU/Linux OS, so it should be much easier to install Linux applications and libraries on it. It’s much better as a scripting and programming platform; my understanding is that it comes with Perl already installed, and a host of other languages (Python, Ruby, TCL, and Vala, at least) are easily installable, as is a compiler for C/C++. You can get most of these on Android, but they are generally segregated out either to the SL4A scripting layer or to whatever chroot or whatever you installed them in. So you don’t have as many opportunities to interact with the system with them. Plus the more completely open OS should mean more opportunities to just monkey around without jumping through hoops.

      So I think that there are (in theory, as I’ve never used it) a lot of advantages to Sailfish, but most of them wouldn’t apply to 97% of users.

      As for development for the system, the real advantage for Sailfish seems to be that the SDK supports Python for development. You can use a lot of things other than Java to develop for Android, but they pretty much all require some sort of third-party workaround (Cordova/Phonegap for JavaScript, Xamarin for C#, Cordova for Lua, etc) that usually involves compromises, complications, and/or costs. Native support for a scripting language would be nice. Otherwise Sailfish requires C++ plus a QT-based markup language. This is probably a wash with the Java + XML on Android; C++ is a lot more complex than Java, but QT is a very nice GUI frameworks to work with.

      1. “…so it should be much easier to install Linux applications and libraries on it”

        ‘Should’ being the key word, there. I understand that this should be the case, and I can think of a couple instances where I would like to use this functionality. But has anyone really put it through normal usage? How much work needs to be done to get applications on Sailfish?

        The idea of being able to have the benefits of ‘real’ Linux but also still have Android apps is great. But it seems like one of those, ‘in theory…’ type things.

      2. You’re right, there are some advanced users that will find alot of great use with Sailfish.

        Personally, I can think of 3 programs that I would want to run (things that have no Android equivalent), but one of them is x86 only (needs SSE2), and the 2nd one would be far too CPU intensive to make me want to run it on something runs on battery.

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