KDE's Plasma Active Shipping On New ARM Tablet
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 29 January 2012 at 08:23 AM EST. 20 Comments
A new ARM-based tablet computer has been announced and it will be shipping KDE's Plasma Active as its default tablet UI experience.

Aaron Seigo mentioned the first tablet shipping with Plasma Active pre-installed via his blog. This tablet is called "Spark" and its price-point is only €200 while being fully unlocked and using Plasma Active by default. Profits will also benefit the Plasma Active project.

The €200 price-tag on this unlocked Linux tablet is about $260 USD. While it's nice that it's using Plasma Active (and just not another Android tablet) and that it comes unlocked with an open Linux stack, the hardware for this price really isn't impressive. The 7-inch capacitive multi-touch Spark tablet has a single-core 1GHz AMLogic ARM processor, Mali-400 GPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB internal storage, and an SD card slot.

These hardware specifications really aren't too great when dual-core is common now and quad-core tablets entering the market-place with 1GB or more of RAM and much more storage possibilities. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the tablet's hardware is the ARM Mali-400 graphics processor, which will as luck would have it, there will eventually be a fully open-source, reverse-engineered graphics driver via the Lima project. It's just a coincidence this tablet happens to have a Mali GPU on the eve of Codethink formally announcing this open-source driver work.

As far as when the Spark tablet will begin shipping, that should be announced in a few days time. For those not familiar with Plasma Active, it's a KDE project aimed at creating a cross-device user-experience for tablets, smart-phones, HTPCs, etc. Plasma Active One was released in October, Plasma Active Two came in December, and there's more releases planned for 2012.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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