Good news everybody: Canonical has announced the new Ubuntu tablet. It can be instantly turned into a desktop PC just by connecting a keyboard and a mouse. Sounds nice? You can even add a monitor to the mix to get the full PC experience from the tablet.
This is one different way of looking at these multipurpose devices unlike the convertibles released by Asus (Asus Transformer series) or Microsoft (Surface Book). The lines between smartphones, tablets and laptops are getting blurred everyday with the release of each new device. A close similar experience on the Windows side can be found with the Windows 10 phones with ‘Continuum for Phones’. In that case, the user has to plug the Windows Phone to a dock that is connected to a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. That phone is already available in the market.
The Hardware of Ubuntu Tablet
It appears that Canonical tested the existing devices from the market and worked on its software to provide the Ubuntu experience they were aiming for. It is an Aquaris M10 tablet that comes with 2GB RAM with 1.5 GHz MediaTek processor. This Ubuntu tablet has the features of the mobile OS of Ubuntu with necessary modifications for the bigger screen.
On the software side of this Ubuntu tablet, the collection of apps is not even close to that of Google PlayStore or App Store. In this case, anything that works in the desktop version of Ubuntu should work on this version as the underlying frameworks are the same. Some of the biggest software of Ubuntu has already been tested and they work fine. The list of programs include LibreOffice, the free office suite used as an alternative to Microsoft Office.
This concept is not the first from Canonical. Ubuntu has been tried with phones and tablets before with an aim to be used as a full PC. Having one device to perform the job of multiple devices is an interesting idea for many people out there, but the popularity and simplicity of cloud storage is also giving a different option which is preferable to many. In the latter case, one can choose his/her favorite design of hardware for each individual device while working with the same files. On the other hand, the ongoing success of the Surface devices tells a whole different story.
The Ubuntu tablet is still in its testing phase and the final product might have a better look and feel as well as usability. No word on a possible price tag, but that will be one of the key factors behind its success or failure.