Can a $265 Tablet Help Fuel Mobile Open Source Development?

Dave Courbanou

January 30, 2012

2 Min Read
Can a $265 Tablet Help Fuel Mobile Open Source Development?
Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

We often look at Ubuntu, Unity and GNOME, but what about KDE? KDE has not only been a constant companion and competitor to other Linux window management systems, but a KDE tablet offshoot is building a presence on to the open source scene. If you’re looking to support KDE, while also looking to buy a 7-inch tablet, the Spark tablet could be perfect for you. Read on for the details …

If you’re shopping around for a tablet with a different twist, the Spark might be the right tool for the job. It’s far from being the show-stopping powerhouse of other tablets its size, as it comes outfitted with a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM. But it features a 7-inch capacitive multitouch display and a micro SD card slot. It’s also not running Android, but rather, KDE Plasma Active. The whole package runs $265 US.

So why would anyone buy it? For starters, you’d be supporting the KDE Plasma Active community, because proceeds from this tablet will go right back into the KDE Plasma Active community for continuing development of the mobile platform. Plus, KDE is providing source code and public release that users and developers would have to wait for with Google and Android. KDE is aligned with the true open source ethos, and more importantly, the Spark tablet is a developmental haven with zero locks, blocks or restrictions on it.

Supporting KDE Plasma Active also will help legitimatize and popularize the growing base of non-Android open source mobile operating systems. I suspect mobile operating systems could become the standard OS of choice in the future as desktop operating systems slowly fade away from everyday use.

If you’re anxious to buy one, you’ll have to wait. The Spark is set to ship soon, but there’s no official date. If you want deeper developmental details, be sure to check out the full  Spark tablet announcement.

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