Monday, February 20, 2012

Spark Linux tablet now available to order


At the end of last month we told you about a very interesting $260 tablet powered by the Mer mobile-optimized OS and KDE Plasma Active. The so-called Spark tablet has now gone up for pre-order on the Make Play Live website.

Typically, a pre-order requires a credit card in order to secure your device, but not in this case. All Make Play Live require is your name, email address, what region you live in, and how many Sparks you want. Then, when stock is available you will be emailed a priority product code, which guarantees you get a Spark as soon as your number comes up. As a bonus for pre-ordering, Make Play Live are offering 500 free points for the add-on store that should go live at launch.

At around $260, the Spark is a tempting proposition. The hardware isn’t fantastic, but it’s good enough. Behind the 7-inch (800 x 480) multitouch capacitive touchscreen sits a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 complete with Mali 400 GPU and 512MB RAM. There’s only 4GB of on-board storage, but a MicroSD slot makes that a non-issue. There’s also plenty of connectivity in the form of two USB 2.0 ports and a HDMI port. Wireless comes in the from of 802.11 b/g and 3G with a USB dongle.

The big draw of the Spark is the fact it is an open platform. With the exception of some hardware drivers everything is open source and you can change whatever you like. That’s sure to win it some fans and we could see some interesting new configurations hitting the web soon after launch.