There are some intriguing happenings on the Ubuntu tablet front, with BQ and Canonical announcing the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet that, thanks to Ubuntu Core, can offer a PC-like experience. A Midwest startup called MJ Technology is looking to take things a step further by offering a tablet than run either Ubuntu or Windows.
We’ve covered this tablet before, but MJ Technology just announced a crowdfunding campaign to fund production, and you can also preorder a device now.
The big selling point of the MJ Technology Ubuntu Tablet is that it offers x86/x64, so you can run Ubuntu or Windows 10. It runs on an Intel Atom x7-Z8750 (Cherry Trail) SoC, a quad-core chip, and it has 4 GB LPDDR3 (2 x 2 GB) RAM and up to a 256 GB SSD, as well as a nice smattering of available ports.
Here are the full specs:
I was duly impressed with the MWC demo of the Aquaris M10 tablet, and these MJ Technology tablets look to best that device in terms of performance. It has twice the RAM of the Aquaris M10, for example, and where the M10 has a nominal amount of onboard storage (16 GB), the MJ Technology tablets offer something more akin to what you need in a PC (128 GB or 256 GB).
For another $50, you can snap up a Pingo keyboard to go with the tablet to further the 2-in-1 PC paradigm. Also note that these tablets have two USB 3.0 ports, micro USB, USB Type-C with PD, microSD, mini PCIe (for a wireless data card) and mini HDMI.
Being a startup, MJ Technology has a ways to go, though. I know that the team has very few actual devices at this point, and it seems that the software component is a step behind. “First version with be [the] latest version of Ubuntu Desktop with the] latest version of Unity/Mir,” MJ Technology CEO Mark Jun told me. “Once Ubuntu Touch is at a releasable level, we will release an installable image with instructions via our website so the consumer can upgrade/install.”
In any case, the 2-in-1 market (to hear Intel tell it) is surging, and the desire to see mobile devices double as de facto PCs seems to be growing, as well. MJ Technology wants to be in on the wave.
Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.
I can only seem to find the MJ7HDTV Android HDTV Tuner tablet on your company website and Ebay. That hardly what I would call "numerous".
As for the Ubuntu tablet. at $400 - $500, it's heavily overpriced considering there have been "2-in-1" models from established companies in the $200 - $400 range that will run Ubuntu without the need to spend an additional $60 on a keyboard. In fact, I have a Windows tablet with comparable specs that only cost $200. Though Ubuntu is well known within the enthusiast community, it's still an unknown to the vast majority of consumers, making it a hard sell at such a high price point.
Please consider the uselessness of tablets relegated to content consumption only. Give me hardware that I can use in College to replace paper with quality active digitizers and pens, bluetooth for mice, and not-crap keyboards. I like your aesthetic, but I have too much to do to take longer to input.