Skip to main content

Jolla Develops World's First Crowdsourced Tablet, Runs Homegrown Sailfish OS

Are consumers looking for a new tablet solution that's not based on iOS or Android? That seems to be the case, as Finland-based smartphone maker Jolla launched a project on Indiegogo that met its goal of $380,000 in just a few short hours. The project has already reeled in 3,878 backers pledging $603,479, and the project doesn't close until December 9.

A list of specifications indicate that the Jolla Tablet will compete with the iPad Mini 3. The device will feature a 7.85-inch IPS display with a 2048 x 1536 resolution, backed by a quad-core 64-bit Intel processor clocked at 1.8 GHz. There's also 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for adding additional storage.

The tablet's ingredients also include a 5 MP camera on the back, a 2 MP camera on the front, dual-band Wireless N connectivity, and a 4300 mAh battery. The tablet measures 203 x 137 x 8.3 mm and weighs a mere 384g. The company's Linux-based Sailfish 2.0 platform is the operating system of choice, not Android.

"At Jolla, we believe in your privacy and respecting our users," the Indiegogo page said. "That's why Sailfish OS is totally independent and has been built the way it has. It's our company policy that we'll never sell or share your data with anyone. There are no back doors or anything third parties could use for monitoring your activity."

The new tablet will allow users to sideload/install Android apps in addition to the native apps found in the Jolla Store. Users can get Android apps through Amazon, Aptoide and other third-party Android markets. Compatible apps include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

According to the project page, tablet owners can use gestures to quickly load apps, check email and so on. The tablet is also capable of multitasking and will display all running apps on a single screen so that the user can quickly slip from one to another. Users can even interact with the apps on this screen, such as turning down the music player without having to maximize the app.

The big news here is that the company wants the consumer to help shape the product by leaving their requests on a dedicated website. Suggestions already include USB to Ethernet support, Wireless AC connectivity, an active digitizer/stylus, a bigger battery, a swappable battery, screen sharing and more. Votes determine if the suggestions will be investigated by the company; the higher the better, naturally.

The idea of a consumer-designed tablet is an interesting one. Potential buyers have the voice to determine the final design of the tablet. However, Jolla isn't the first to take this consumer-based approach, as Razer did something similar with the Edge and Edge Pro tablets a few years back. The Razer Edge is based on Windows, whereas the Jolla tablet is based on its in-house developed Sailfish OS.

And that may be Jolla's biggest hurdle: to get customers to buy into a new operating system. However, based on the Indiegogo project, consumers seem to want something other than iOS and Android. Will a Sailfish OS tablet be a lucrative contender? Only time will tell.

The tablet is expected to ship in North America sometime in May 2015.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • actsai
    I'll sit on the fence for this one, native sideload or repackaging sideload? We had a repacking contender known as BlackBerry and it is not flopping fast enough.

    Actually I might not sit on the fences this looks like $300 merchandize.
    Reply
  • BP7
    I'm reminded about what the Ouya tried to do for video game consoles... And well, that didn't turn out so well...
    Reply
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    The hardware looks decent enough but it really will be the OS that sells it. HP had a decent tablet but couldn't sell WebOS fast enough so they murdered it.
    Reply
  • Darra
    Now close to 1 million USD, look at; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet/x/9174763
    Reply
  • Darra
    Today Jolla added Canada and Australia for shipping on https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jolla-tablet-world-s-first-crowdsourced-tablet/x/9174763
    Reply
  • jackt
    Like this sailfish, we NEED another OS. Is crazy how android is spying the whole world! We are spyed by google and all the app developers.
    Reply
  • Orionds
    Not sure if one can call the Jolla the first crowdsourced tablet. I subscribed to a Pengpod 7-inch almost 2 years ago. It dual boots Android and a version of Lubuntu. The Lubuntu format wasn't too good because of below par touch support.

    Strange too that almost no one mentions the Ubutab: 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen, quad-core, 2Gb ram, 1Tb HD (or 500Gb / 1Tb SSD), Ubuntu for tablets, AC wi-fi at $290 also at Indiegogo, delivery in April 2015.

    I guess it's because it's not an Android-compatible OS (Android is available if requested but Ubuntu is the default install). Add a foldable 10-inch keyboard case (about $20) and it should make a very compelling device for mobile and office work.
    Reply