Linux computer builder ZaReason is now selling its first tablet. But while all of the company’s laptop and desktop computers are sold with Ubuntu Linux, the ZaTab is an Android tablet.
The good news for folks who like to tinker is that ZaReason sells the tablet with the bootloader unlocked which means that the tablet can support custom ROMs. The company hopes to see custom versions of Android and even Linux distributions ported to run on the tablet.
Update: ZaReason has released a new model with a faster processor and lower price tag.
The ZaTab features a 9.7 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel IPS display with support for 5-point capacitive multitouch input. It has a 1.2 GHz Allwinner A10 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It weighs 1.4 pounds.
There are front and rear cameras, 802.11n WiFi, and the tablet has an 8000mAh battery which ZaReason says should be good for up to 14 hours of video playback.
You also get 2 microUSB ports and a microSD card slot for extra storage and other peripherals, and a microHDMI port for video output.
ZaReason preloades an open source version of Android 4.0.3 on the tablet and includes the source code (as well as an AC adapter and USB cable) with the package.
You can also order the the tablet without any operating system at all.
The ZaTab is available from ZaReason.com for $349.
via Geek.com and OMG Ubuntu
A single-core Cortex-A8 based tablet is a bit expensive for $349 even with the IPS screen. This should go for $250 tops.
They should quickly upgrade this to a dual-core Cortex-A9 setup (RK3066) + 2GB RAM + Ubuntu for Android + a batteryless keyboard dock. That would be a killer deal for $349.
However, the 8000mAh battery and the IPS screen are great features of this tablet.
I would expect to see ZaReason with their Ubuntu expertise maybe put Android 4 and Ubuntu both on something like this. And Ubuntu is working on a thing where Ubuntu runs alongside Android. This would be a great application for that concept. At this point for an end user to try and get Ubuntu running on a tablet I think would be a long hackfest, getting drivers and hardware matched and the touch functions worked out.
Adding a full Ubuntu install would be an incredible added bonus. And if you added kb cover, or a bluetooth kb and mouse – forget Windows 8, Android + Ubuntu would be a powerhouse.
Yes, ZaReason should use Ubuntu for Android on their machines.
However, that requires at least a dual-core SOC which the A10 is not.
However, Ubuntu should run properly on this tab in standalone mode.
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