Canonical announces BQ Aquaris M10, the First Ubuntu tablet that can be converted into PC

Canonical, the company behind the world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux, officially announced on February 4, 2016, the world’s FIRST Ubuntu tablet, the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition.

Built by Spanish OEM BQ, the 10.1-inch tablet runs the latest Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system, which can be easily converged into a personal computer when connecting to an external LCD, keyboard, and mouse – the first such device to do so.

Canonical say the M10 is ‘the first in a series of converged devices’, suggesting that there would be more hardware announcements in the near future.

Jane Silber, Canonical CEO in a statement said: “We’re bringing you everything you’ve come to expect from your Ubuntu PC, now on the tablet with BQ, soon on smartphones. This isn’t a phone interface stretched to desktop size – it’s the right user experience and interaction model for the given situation. Also, in terms of applications, we have something no other OS can provide: a single, visual framework and set of tools for applications to run on any type of Ubuntu smart device.”

Later this month, the company is to showcase the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet at Mobile World Conference in Barcelona alongside new community ports for Sony, OnePlus and Fairphone handsets.

The M10 is the first device to deliver on Canonical’s vision of the future of computing: convergence.
Apart from offering an Ubuntu convergent experience, Aquaris M10 is the first tablet running on Ubuntu Linux.

Here are its specifications at a glance:

• A 10.1-inch IPS touch display with HD 1920×1200 pixel resolution at 240 ppi
• 64-bit MediaTek MT8163A 1.5GHz quad-core processor
• 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, approximately 11GB is available for use
• MicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
• 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM Radio
• 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and dual flash, plus a front facing 3-megapixel camera for video chats, vlogs and selfies
• Front facing Dolby Atmos speakers
• Micro HDMI port
• 7,280mAh Li-Po battery, upto 10 hrs of use
• Measures 246mm x 171mm x 8.2mm, and weighs just 470 grams

Ubuntu makes multitasking and windows management easier. It brings a full range of desktop applications and thin client support for productivity and mobile. It not only allows to manage applications easily but also get the advantage of integrated services with desktop notifications.

Convergence makes file browsing and file and folder management much easier, according to Canonical. As you switch the interface, the responsive applications detect the point/click input and re-shape according to the UI. “Also, in terms of applications, we have something no other OS can provide: a single, visual framework and set of tools for applications to run on any type of Ubuntu smart device,” says Silber.

“We’re not out to win the tablet market. We want to win the reinvention of the PC experience. Today, the PC, tablet and smartphone markets are not really different things. It’s what we’re doing on our devices that’s important. By providing one code base for all devices, our view of convergence will make it easier to deal with blurring of form factors”, she continued. OEMs and programmers will be able to create customized interfaces and applications with the fragmentation that has bedevilled the Android market, she added.

The similar convergence approach is also being pushed forward by Microsoft in the form of Windows 10, which was launched last July. It is showing us what it’s trying to achieve with Continuum.

About this competition, Silber says, “We share a vision with Microsoft. I think they have a very similar view of what’s happening in the personal computing space.” She adds: “On the one hand it’s competition, on the other hand it’s reinforcement.”

Currently, there is no information on the pricing yet. However, the price is expected to be somewhere around the $250-260 mark. The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet will be on sale from Q2 2016 via BQ’s online store.


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