The OnePlus Pad is an 11.6 inch Android tablet with a 2800 x 2000 pixel, 144 Hz display, a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor, and a $479 price tag before you add optional accessories like a keyboard and pen. It comes at a time when mid-range Android tablets are barely really a thing, with only Samsung and Lenovo offering any serious contenders. And Google’s Android operating system has long been panned for largely treating tablets more like big phones than a different form factor.

That could change soon, with Google set to launch a new Pixel Tablet that will take advantage of new Android features. But it seems like OnePlus wanted to get its tablet out the door before Google’s officially launches next month. It’s up for pre-order starting today and the first independent reviews are in. And they paint… a kind of mixed picture.

On the one hand, most reviews I’ve seen have largely positive things to say about the hardware, but many lament that the software isn’t really nice enough to make the tablet feel all that useful.

On the other hand, Ars Technica’s hands-on stands out from the crowd by proclaiming that one of the tablet’s defining features is actually really, really bad.

OnePlus Pad hands-on: I did not know they still made displays this bad [Ars Technica]

Most reviews of the OnePlus Pad seem fairly positive (if skeptical that anyone wants or needs a $479 Android tablet in 2023), but a detailed look at the 11.6 inch, 2.8K 144 Hz display suggests it may not deliver on all those specs promise.

Rufus 4.0 bootable USB drive creator released [Rufus]

Rufus is a popular Windows utility for creating bootable USB flash drives for installing Linux distros or other operating systems. Version 4.0 fixes a bunch of bugs, but also drops support for Windows 7 and earlier.

Mixtile Core 3588E Rockchip RK3588 system-on-module works with NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX carrier boards [CNX Software]

Mixtile Core 3588E is a compute-on-a-module that looks like a stick of RAM and has a 260-pin connector for use with a carrier board. Powered by a Rockchip RK3588 processor it should work with boards that support the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX.

MNT Reform desktop prototypes [@[email protected]]

As I mentioned yesterday, the makers of the MNT Reform line of open, hackable, modular laptops are looking to expand into desktops. This… is probably not what they’ll look like, but it’s an early attempt to repurpose some of the work the team has done on laptops for use as a desktop (with a discrete GPU sticking out like a sore thumb).

Keep up on the latest headlines by following @[email protected] on Mastodon. You can also follow Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook, and keep up with the latest open source mobile news by following LinuxSmartphones on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. I would adore a high resolution pen-compatible 8-16GB RAM w/ 256-512GB SSD provided it can run a normal Linux distribution. It sucks not having LibreOffice, PostgreSQL, Eclipse, Spyder, IPython, Jupyter w/ “the usual suspects” (Python AI/analytics libraries), SELinux containers for web server, and the rest of the cruft developers, informaticists, scientists, sysadmins, and geeks think they need.

    There are plenty of boards out there, e.g. Orange Pi 5 16GB Rockchip RK3588S 8 Core 64 Bit Single Board Computer, 2.4GHz is <$150, although you do have to drop a few bucks on the M.2 SSD.

    Cannot anyone fit this into a tablet??? It should be able to run Plasma w/ its tablet extensions, as well as other mobile desktop environments as well as “regular” KDE Plasma, LXQt, Deepin, and all those ugly-ass GTK-based DEs, and I suspect that there is even a port of openSUSE for the RISC 5 that has the needed software (openSUSE w/ LXQt runs great on RaspberryPi 4B, and probably would Plasma as well but LXQt is a fun changeup from KDE on my workstation).

    Seriously, there are 2K portable displays w/ 10 point multi-touch and I suspect I could find some w/ Wacom pen digitizer support.

    I am tempted to pair one up with the Orange Pi, some cameras, maybe an OLED touch strip for the back (can show the time when not in use, during it can be extra buttons, HTOP, WiFi config, inbox/calendar/todo summary, etc.) a couple of 18650 batteries and some charging circuitry. It wont be elegant, esp. if everything is just epoxyed onto the back of the screen, but all the parts are there, including USB3, GB ethernet, WiFi, BT,

  2. I had a few Android tablets.
    They weren’t bad, especially while new, but their support was quite awful, even for Google Nexus ones.
    After the first major update they became luggish shittisch run Android.
    I bought iPad mini 5 in 2021 (slightly used), and it still works fine.

  3. If you’re asking what we really, really want (which tech companies seldom do)….

    I’d like an updated iPod Touch:
    Sipeed’s TH1520 RISC-V SoC and
    The converging Lomiri (on Debian) Ui
    (no phone)

    And if it could be upgradeable in design, like Shift’s phones… That would be perfect.

    Do you think you can make it happen for me?

  4. Samsung has been selling expensive tablets for over 10 years. They INVENTED the pro tablet category back in 2012 with the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro that ran KitKat, had a 12″ screen and included a stylus and keyboard. Apple launched the iPad Pro imitator about 16 months later. Last year Samsung released a tablet that cost $1400.

    Not just Samsung. Lenovo sells premium Android tablets too: one that costs $750 is at Best Buy. And Xiaomi and Huawei sold premium Android tablets aimed at Asian and European markets for years. Every time someone comes out with an Android tablet that costs more than an Amazon Kindle we get the same questions. Just like everyone does with Chromebooks that cost more than $300. North America and Japan are the only markets where everyone buys iPhones and iPads. Everywhere else lots of Android phones and a good number of Android tablets sell.

  5. Given how great mid-range socs are nowadays, and I only use a tablet for firefox/youtube browsing in the couch to avoid killing my eyes on the phone, no, not at all.

    Anyone doing some work should rather consider some chrome based solution (if said work is cloud based) or linux if more is needed (and virtualbox if some wonky windows software is absolutely needed) rather than android tbh.

    So a 230€ redmi pad with a G99, 6G ram and 128GB storage is plenty for casual usage which is what most people do on a tablet.

    The only addition that could be worth it is usbc to hdmi out for holidays, but a cheap chromecast is a perfect alternative, arguably even better as I can change programs from the couch.

    1. Having HDMI/USB3 video out is really important for those doing development, data analysis, and other complex tasks where >1 screen really helps, esp. since w/ a USB keyboard and mouse you now are just using desktop Linux and the huge rage of useful software. 😉

      Now, if you are a gamer, you will want to dual boot into Android for that. But for developers, scientists (writing papers w/ Jupyter/Spyder, QGIS, LibreOffice Writer/Calc/Base–> connected to PostgreSQL/PostGIS, Inkscape, Krita, Zotero and two web browsers all going at once!)

  6. The Oneplus Pad is disappointingly entry-level in specs for the price they are asking – an IPS screen for around $500 is laughable.

    Even Apple has trouble getting away with that nowadays on its low-end iPads, but at least the iPad has a strong thing going, where as Android on tablets is still sadly a total after-thought.

  7. I want a 8″ tabled with fair specs at around a 400 price mark.

    These things haven’t existed in a decade. The closest are Nokia’s tablets, but they’re a bit under-specced for me (though very cheap).

    I could get an Ipad mini for about three times the cost. And it doesn’t even have third party browsers.

  8. ..Only if it is big 14 in or more with good stylus support. Digital drawing and writing. Otherwise, no.

  9. I want the Pixel Tablet, but not the corresponding Dock, for say $450 USD max. All to run GrapheneOS on it.

  10. I have a Galaxy Tab S7 that was slightly over the $400-600 range when it launched, but it dropped down into that range by the time I got it. It’s honestly the first Android tablet that I haven’t been disappointed with. The cheaper ones I’ve tried were all too slow and/or had other compromises (including screen quality).

  11. There sure seems to have been a glut of expensive android tablets lately. But maybe I’ve just been ignoring the past several years and only started paying attention after that lenovo one with the lappable keyboard case.
    I’d be happy to use a $400 to $600 tablet with standardized firmware that allowed generic installers for a variety of operating systems to work on it. But since my laptop is basically that but bigger and with worse battery life, I don’t really feel the need.
    And while I haven’t gotten around to installing waydroid yet, I could imagine most customers of new laptops with 360 degree hinges and x86 tablets wouldn’t have much of a cause to run out and buy an android tablet thanks to WSA. And the extra cost of the 360 degree hinge and stylus is usually less than one of these tablets.