The JingPad A1 is a tablet with an 11 inch AMOLED display, a Unisoc T7510 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. But what really sets it apart from most tablets on the market is that it ships with a custom Linux distribution called JingOS.
First launched last summer through a crowdfunding campaign, the JingPad A1 currently sells for $699… but Jingling, the company that makes the tablet, is offering 45% off when you use the coupon NEWYEAR by February 10th, which brings the price down to $384. The only catch? It’s not clear whether the new year will be a happy one for Jingling.
Over the past week or so there have been rumors floating around that the company was downsizing, and now Jingling has confirmed to members of a Telegram group that there have been staff cuts and that with fewer people working for the company, the company won’t be able to offer as much support to customers as it had previously.
That said, if you’ve got a JingPad A1 and/or are thinking of picking one up and you’re not happy with the current state of JingOS, there may be other options.
Jingling recently provided instructions for unlocking the tablet’s bootloader and installing an Android ROM on the tablet. And now the company has provided source code that can be used to help port other operating systems to run on the JingPad A1.
As for JingOS itself, it’s an interesting operating system that’s based on Ubuntu Linux, but which features a custom user interface that borrows elements of KDE and KDE Plasma Mobile and adds an application dock and quick settings menu that appear to be heavily influenced by iOS and Android design.
The operating system supports desktop Linux applications as well as mobile Linux apps and can be used as a touch-only device or with a keyboard, mouse, and/or digital pen. There’s also support for running some Android applications, but rather than tap an existing open source project like Anbox or Waydroid for that functionality, Jingling built its own Android app system and, as far as I’m aware, never released the source code for that or some other elements of JingOS, which kind of raises the question of who this tablet is for if it’s not for folks looking for free and open source alternatives to Android, iOS, and Windows.
Anyway, it’s unclear what’s behind the staffing cuts at Jingling or what impact they’ll have on the future of the company. As recently as two weeks ago we were still seeing fresh reviews of the tablet from some high-profile sources. And despite apparently scrapping work on the x86 version of JingOS, the company has said it plans to continue developing JingOS for devices like the JingPad A1 that have ARM-based processors.
That said, I suppose it’s reassuring that anyone who picks up a JingPad A1 tablet today can save nearly half the price of the tablet and may not be locked into running the software that ships with the tablet, assuming they’ve either got the skills to port a different operating system or the patience to wait and see if someone else does it first.
Here are some of the tablet’s key specs:
2368 x 1728 pixels
266 pixels per inch
4:3 aspect ratio
“almost 90%” screen-to-body ratio
109% NTSC color gamut
|Processor||12nm 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 & mics||16MP rear|
|Battery & Charging||8,000 mAh|
18W charger (3 hours for full charge)
(Not supported in all countries)
USB Type-C OTG
Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity (optional)
Keyboard with 6-rows and touchpad (optional)
Support for Android apps
|Dimensions||6.7mm thick (0.26 inches)|
|Weight||500 grams (1.1 pounds)|