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Details Emerge About the Spark Linux-Based Tablet

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News Posted: Sun, Feb 5 2012 12:21 PM
There’s a new tablet in town (well, on its way to town, at least) called the Spark. The Linux-based tablet, based on the Zenithink C71, was announced several days ago, but the fellow behind the project, KDE developer Aaron Seigo, released more details on his blog in a convenient Q&A format.

He revealed that the tablet (about $265 USD) will be available for pre-order this week and will start shipping worldwide in May. In terms of specifications, the 7-inch (800x480) multi-touch tablet will run a 1GHz AMLogic ARM processor and Mali-400 GPU and sport 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot for expandability), 802/11b/g WiFi, a pair of USB ports, a front-facing 1.3MP webcam, and an audio jack.



There are plans to add 3G and GPS functionality in later versions of the tablet, as well as beefed-up hardware specs. The UI of choice is Plasma Active, and there will apparently be a content store where developers can peddle their wares and users can snag software.

The Spark project isn’t just some cheap tablet being churned out half-heartedly by a company looking to cash in on the latest tech craze. This looks to be a labor of love for Seigo and others behind Spark, and it’s rooted in their ideology.

“The people who get to use these tablets will have in their hands a device that is more than an application bucket that sees them as a consumer,” said Seigo in the original blog post announcing Spark. “They will have a device that places value on who they are and what they are doing. This lies at the heart of Activities in Plasma Active and the open software stack will drive that trend further. Perhaps best of all: there's no walled garden to get locked into or which can be taken away.”


Sample of the Plasma Active UI

Spark isn’t likely to suddenly glom tablet market share away from Apple and Google, but competition of any kind is good for consumers, and this particular project presents an attractive tablet alternative to those who chafe at what industry behemoths offer.

Seigo also noted that the tablet will indeed blend, although that would void the warranty.
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Linux users will love to have one of those. I will like highers specs , (bigger screen) , more ram, e.t.c. No GPS nor 3g? not good. It it's better for later versions to come out. playbooks have better specs than this O_o + comes with gps.

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karanm replied on Sun, Feb 5 2012 6:32 PM

Another day another tablet, open source sounds cool but they are years too late. There are way too many ios and android developers now.

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Good price for this. Linux is a big plus too.

I'll bet that it's gonna have some great perfomance under the hood.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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OSunday replied on Sun, Feb 5 2012 11:44 PM

Anything with a mission statement like that has to be firmly rooted in customer appeal and as a result success, the active plasma operating system looks intuitive but a little basic and unfinished in terms of bells and whistles (but I'm guessing that's where they're hoping the open-source nature of Linux and its developers can fill in the gaps)

Either way a neat product and like the article mentioned some good comp and way to get some innovation going for Tablets

By "Blending" does that mean that the device will support iOS or Android at the expense of the warranty?

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realneil replied on Mon, Feb 6 2012 12:52 AM

"Will it blend" is a internet site that blends,..........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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CJames replied on Mon, Feb 6 2012 9:24 AM

There is plenty of eye candy in KDE's Plasma Desktop. I've been using it for years and can recognize this as being the same environment, configured for a touch screen. Check out the Plasma themes from kde-look.org. There are hundreds of beautiful themes that can be installed from within the GUI's configuration including ones that mimic popular commercial GUIs.

As to blending, I assume this is about installing other OSs or GUIs. I can see how this would void the warranty as much of the work is probably invested in just getting an ideal configuration built for the touchscreen environment.

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Cerf replied on Mon, Feb 6 2012 6:04 PM

Well in my opinion this is really exciting, a niche product, something different than iPad or Android tablets. Would even consider buying one if it does make it to retail :)

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OSunday replied on Mon, Feb 6 2012 9:20 PM

Hahahah can't believe I missed that reference, thanks for the clarification realneil

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No, i think it won't after watching that video hahahahahaha

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