Upstart MJ Technology To Launch 'Ubuntu Edge'-Like Tablet Early 2015

Last year, Canonical tried to crowdfund its own smartphone that would run the company's "Ubuntu Touch" operating system. The smartphone was called "Ubuntu Edge" and would come with a unique design, 4 GB of RAM, a quad-core processor, sapphire screen and 128 GB of storage.

The campaign ultimately failed, reaching less than half of its ambitious goal of $32 million. Since then, we haven't actually seen a commercially available device running Ubuntu Touch.

A new start-up called MJ Technology promises to build a tablet that will look like the Ubuntu Edge smartphone Canonical wanted to build, and it will run Ubuntu. The tablet will come in two different sizes (8.9" and 10.1"), and both will have the following specs:

2.4 GHz Intel Quad Core4 GB DDR3 RAM64 GB Internal StorageMicroSD slot for external storageTwo USB 2.0 ports and one micro-USB port8.9" and 10.1" HD IPS display with 5 point multi-touch5 GHz Wi-FiBluetooth 4.0

Canonical hasn't succeeded in bringing Ubuntu Touch to market so far, as most OEMs don't seem interested in yet another operating system that won't have a large ecosystem behind it. (Even Microsoft is having a hard time gaining a large foothold in the mobile market with Windows Phone and its Windows 8 for tablets, even though it has spent billions promoting the two and has had quite a few hardware partners so far.)

One other operating system that has seen slight success (for a new entry in the market) has been Firefox OS, a Chrome OS-like operating system for smartphones. Mozilla has mostly focused on ultra-low-end smartphones so far, trying to undercut even Android devices on price, and it has seen some success with that strategy.

Ubuntu Touch can run both HTML5 apps and native ones, which can be seen as an advantage over Firefox OS. However, what's more important is getting hardware partners, which can then make the OS more popular, and that will hopefully attract more developers to the platform.

MJ Technologies will be one of the first devices to try Ubuntu Touch, and it should also have support for the desktop version of Ubuntu as well. There's also been a rumor about a Meizu MX4 model coming out with Ubuntu Touch soon, so more OEMs are starting to show an interest in Ubuntu Touch. The Ubuntu Touch platform has been finalized this fall, so perhaps 2015 will be the year Ubuntu Touch finally makes its mark in the market.

Update, 12/30, 2:15pm: Fixed name to "MJ Technology", added Facebook link.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • TechyInAZ
    I can't wait for this to come out. I would love a tablet or smartphone that runs a free community based OS. And not some crazy billion dollar OS by Microsoft or Google.
  • 3arn0wl
    Great specs! I hope this happens - Ubuntu deserves to be widely available.
  • workingwriter
    As one of the original Edge backers, I hope this tablet gets released. I'm a little concerned that MJ Technologies doesn't have a website (though a Google search turns up a software/tech services company with that name). Love to know where the hardware is manufactured too. Hope springs eternal...
  • whiteodian
    Michael Jackson Technologies? Lack of apps might hurt it though, but I might consider it if the price is right.
  • debianupdate
  • Quixit
    "2.4 GHz Intel Quad Core" I hope this means Atom, otherwise I see a lot of burned fingers. Ubuntu Touch sounds like a good idea, but I have a feeling they won't quite get the UI right just like Unity.
  • jasonelmore
    this tablet is a hacker's dream come true
  • EasyLover
    Waiting for more details though it has gained my attention.
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    Finally looks like someone is going to make a entry level tablet with more than 2 gigs of RAM.
  • Mark Jun
    We plan to release the Ubuntu tablet around March/April 2015. Until we get our website up you can visit our Facebook page for the latest updates about the tablet and products we already have on the market.