1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The PengPod Linux Tablet Is Becoming A Reality

Hardware

Published on 04 December 2012 11:13 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
16 Comments

The PengPod tablet, which allows for dual-booting Google's Android and Ubuntu/Linaro on an ARM-based tablet, is becoming a reality after it was successfully crowd-funded.

While the PengPod calls itself the "true Linux tablet" and it's interesting that it will support both Android and Ubuntu/Linaro, it isn't too interesting from just a end-user who just wants a compelling Linux tablet. The PengPod isn't shipping until early next year and the hardware inside is already dated by the latest-generation Android/Linux tablets on the market.

The PengPod tablets (there are 7 and 10-inch models) and the PengPod stick are based around an Allwinner A10 SoC. The Chinese SoC has a 1.2GHz single-core Cortex-A8 ARM core, ARM Mali 400 graphics, 1GB of DDR3 memory. and USB 2.0 connectivity. This is compared to the latest-generation ARM SoCs being multi-core Cortex-A9s or even the very new goods (such as the Samsung Chromebook) using the high-performance Cortex-A15s.

Using the older ARM technology isn't also reflected by a lower price. The 7-inch PengPod is set to retail for $110 USD while the 10-inch model will be $160. With the single-core Cortex-A8 on the is just 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a 1.3 Megapixel camera, and either a 800 x 480 or 1024 x 600 display. The Google Nexus 7 meanwhile -- which runs with Android by default but has already been shown to work with Ubuntu -- retails for $199 USD while packing a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core Cortex-A9 (plus its fifth known companion core), 1280 x 800 HD IPS display and 16 or 32GB of storage.

As discussed on Twitter, the stated reasoning for going with the dated hardware is "its got source and an active developer community." The PengPod is also advertised as "This system is open source top to bottom and almost feature equivalent with Android on the same hardware." Allwinner has met their GPL obligations in terms of providing the kernel sources, but it's not actually fully open-source from top to bottom.

The A10 has the Mali 400 graphics core, which still lacks a working open-source user-space for end-users with OpenGL ES acceleration. There's the well-known Lima driver but that isn't yet in a condition for use by actual consumers so anyone actually wanting accelerated graphics are still bound to Mali's binary blob.

From the successful crowd-funding on IndieGoGo, some of the funds will be used to improve the Chinese tablet's Linux support. Among the features being tackled are automatic screen rotation based upon the G-Sensor, hardware support button, and providing Video4Linux support for the on-board camera.

For those wanting to learn more about this Linux tablet, visit PengPod.com.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  2. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  3. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
  4. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
Latest Linux News
  1. GNOME 3.14 Beta Released
  2. Mesa 10.3 Branched & RC1 Released, Mesa 10.4 On Master
  3. Intel Sandy Bridge Gains On Linux 3.17 Extend Beyond Graphics
  4. LinuxCon: What's Going On With Fedora.Next
  5. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers
  6. EFL 1.11 Is A Big Milestone For Enlightenment Users
  7. DirectFB Updates GTK3 Support, Working Towards DirectFB 1.8
  8. Userptr Support Set For AMD Radeon GPUs In Linux 3.18
  9. NVIDIA Releases CUDA 6.5 As A Huge Update
  10. GNOME 3.14 Beta Makes GLSL Optional, Supports Wayland Gesture/Touch Events
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations
  4. ATI CrossFire Does Not Support On This Platform When Enabling (Ubuntu Lucid)
  5. Dead Island for Linux (?)
  6. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  7. Remote gui not accessible in Phoronix Test Suite 5.2
  8. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month