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Spark, the open KDE tablet


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#1 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:36 AM

This looks interesting. A Linux (Mer/MeeGo) based tablet running KDE. Due to ship in May.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/0...-kde-tablet.ars
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#2 ONLINE   lewmur

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (sunrat @ Feb 18 2012, 04:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This looks interesting. A Linux (Mer/MeeGo) based tablet running KDE. Due to ship in May.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/0...-kde-tablet.ars

Appears overpriced to me.  They says it based on the Zenithink c71, which can be bought new for under $200, with Android 4.0.  But they are "aiming" for a price of $270.  Which means it will probably be higher.  

Just to get Linux?  If you check the XDA developers forums, there are already free ports to Linux.  But remember, only a small portion of Linux apps have been ported to the ARM CPU.  There is actually a much larger apps base for Android than for Linux in the ARM world.  

Just my opinion, but I have run both Android and Debian ARM on tablets and I much prefer Android.  This probably wouldn't be true if it ran "real" Linux and the Linux developers had incorporated all of the capabilities of multi-touch screens.  But as things stand now, there has been much, much more development for tablet apps in Android than in "native" Linux.

#3 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (lewmur @ Feb 18 2012, 07:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Appears overpriced to me.  They says it based on the Zenithink c71, which can be bought new for under $200, with Android 4.0.  But they are "aiming" for a price of $270.  Which means it will probably be higher.  

Just to get Linux?  If you check the XDA developers forums, there are already free ports to Linux.  But remember, only a small portion of Linux apps have been ported to the ARM CPU.  There is actually a much larger apps base for Android than for Linux in the ARM world.  

Just my opinion, but I have run both Android and Debian ARM on tablets and I much prefer Android.  This probably wouldn't be true if it ran "real" Linux and the Linux developers had incorporated all of the capabilities of multi-touch screens.  But as things stand now, there has been much, much more development for tablet apps in Android than in "native" Linux.

I could not of said it better myself!! thumbup.gif

I was very excited about this project till I realized the low specs and price point:
QUOTE
512 ram
800x480 resolution
3000mAH, 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery
Up to 4 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music
Five-point Capacitive Screen

http://www.zenithink.com/Eproducts_C71.php

There are a few problems with the tablet. First off, the chipset has a horrible battery life. For instance, my HP Touchpad has a 6000mAh battery and I get about 36 hours of battery life under Android versus their 4 hour claim. Of course, the battery life may get better if they optimize the distro on it.

Secondly, what is up with the 5-point capacitive screen? Most decent tablets have at least a 10-point screen. I am sorry if it seems like I am bashing the tablet but come on, they could of used better hardware for the tablet's base. That and just as you stated, Linux is not very complete on ARM tablets. I have Archlinux, Android 4, and WebOS on my Touchpad but I only really ever use Android as Linux is not very optimized for the tablet and various things do not work correctly yet (multitouch, video acceleration, etc).

I would buy one of these tablets just to support the project but at $270, it is not a good deal at all.

Note: this is just my opinion (and sometimes I am a bit harsh).  whistling.gif
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#4 ONLINE   lewmur

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:24 PM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Feb 18 2012, 09:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I could not of said it better myself!! thumbup.gif

I was very excited about this project till I realized the low specs and price point:

http://www.zenithink.com/Eproducts_C71.php

There are a few problems with the tablet. First off, the chipset has a horrible battery life. For instance, my HP Touchpad has a 6000mAh battery and I get about 36 hours of battery life under Android versus their 4 hour claim. Of course, the battery life may get better if they optimize the distro on it.

Secondly, what is up with the 5-point capacitive screen? Most decent tablets have at least a 10-point screen. I am sorry if it seems like I am bashing the tablet but come on, they could of used better hardware for the tablet's base. That and just as you stated, Linux is not very complete on ARM tablets. I have Archlinux, Android 4, and WebOS on my Touchpad but I only really ever use Android as Linux is not very optimized for the tablet and various things do not work correctly yet (multitouch, video acceleration, etc).

I would buy one of these tablets just to support the project but at $270, it is not a good deal at all.

Note: this is just my opinion (and sometimes I am a bit harsh).  whistling.gif

Yeah.  It's kind of hard to accept specs like that when you've been spoiled by the HP TP!! devil.gif

#5 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

QUOTE (lewmur @ Feb 18 2012, 03:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah.  It's kind of hard to accept specs like that when you've been spoiled by the HP TP!! devil.gif

You got that right thumbsup.gif
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#6 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:15 AM

Well I bought one of the Spark tablets (ZT-280) for $109 as the tablet is already available, just not with KDE Spark installed:
http://www.thepowerbase.com/2012/03/get-a-...blet-right-now/

QUOTE
ZeniThink C71 Android 4.0 Description:
OS    Android 4.0
CPU     ZT280-C71 CORTEX A9 1GHz
Memory    512MB DDR
NandFlash    4GB
Extended    TF card,U disk
LCD    7" TFT highlight display,Capacitive touch screen,800*480
3G    support USB 3G(option)
Internet    WIFI
Languages    Multi-language
Camera    Built-in camera
I/O ports    1*USB 2.0 Host port
1*USB 2.0 OTG port
1*HDMI output
1*TF card slot

(modified the quote as the first line repeated itself)

Not bad for $109 (Looks like the price has increased due to it being leaked that this is the KDE Spark tablet: ($126 now).


The device does not have that high of specs but it does have pretty much every port available even a USB host port. I bought this strictly as an on the go device as it is small enough for my pocket but I do not expect it to be as fast as my Touchpad. That said, the Kindle Fire runs ICS pretty well on 512 ram so this one should as well. I will be installing KDE Spark when the tutorial becomes available.
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#7 ONLINE   lewmur

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Mar 14 2012, 10:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well I bought one of the Spark tablets (ZT-280) for $109 as the tablet is already available, just not with KDE Spark installed:
http://www.thepowerbase.com/2012/03/get-a-...blet-right-now/


(modified the quote as the first line repeated itself)

Not bad for $109 (Looks like the price has increased due to it being leaked that this is the KDE Spark tablet: ($126 now).


The device does not have that high or specs but it does have pretty much every port available even a USB host port. I bought this strictly as an on the go device as it is small enough for my pocket but I do not expect it to be as fast as my Touchpad. That said, the Kindle Fire runs ICS pretty well on 512 ram so this one should as well. I will be installing KDE Spark when the tutorial becomes available.

Even the $126 price isn't bad.  Sure beats paying $270.  What kind of battery life are you getting?  I have a 7" pad but its battery life stinks.  Less than 3hrs even with wifi turned off.


#8 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:50 PM

Eh, it says 4 hours at full use but I know a few tricks to get better battery life. (set display lower, wifi sleep, set min/max cpu speed, etc.)
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#9 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

Not as great as my Touchpad as the battery is lower (4000 mAH vs 6300 mAh on the touchpad). Then again for the price, ports, and openness (unlocked boot loader OOTB); this is a very good deal IMO.
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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:05 PM

QUOTE (lewmur @ Mar 14 2012, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What kind of battery life are you getting?

I just ordered it last night so I will not know for about a week as it is coming from China.
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#11 ONLINE   lewmur

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Mar 14 2012, 02:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just ordered it last night so I will not know for about a week as it is coming from China.

It's coming from China and you still expect it in a week?  blink.gif   Normally take 3 - 4 weeks for me to get something from China. mad.gif


#12 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

QUOTE (lewmur @ Mar 14 2012, 02:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's coming from China and you still expect it in a week?  blink.gif   Normally take 3 - 4 weeks for me to get something from China. mad.gif

Yup. I even paid for 3-5 business day shipping. I have ordered quite a few things from China and they get here relatively fast. I have even had things arrive in 2 days from China.

A friend of mine ordered 2 of them and they should arrive today.
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#13 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:19 PM

Keep us updated. I will get one in a few weeks, may as well benefit from your experience.

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#14 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

QUOTE (amenditman @ Mar 14 2012, 04:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Keep us updated. I will get one in a few weeks, may as well benefit from your experience.

I will  thumbsup.gif

BTW My friend ordered his 3/6 so it has only been about 8 days since he ordered. I am not for sure if he has it or not but it was in Minneapolis (about 8 hours from him) earlier this afternoon so at least it is in the states already.
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#15 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE
Trademark Issue: KDE 'Spark' Tablet Renamed Vivaldi:

KDE's Spark, the first tablet to feature KDE Plasma Active interface on top, has been renamed because of trademark issues. The 17.8-cm (7-inch) device announced by KDE developer Aaron J. Seigo in January, will now be called 'Vivaldi'.

The name, as Seigo describes it, is based around "a musical theme that celebrates some of the brightest lights in human history when it comes to making, playing and living interesting lives".


http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=80429


That said, my tablet went through customs last night in HongKong so it should not be more than a couple of days before I have it in hand.
It has arrived in Cincinnati, OH so I should have it in the next day or two.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984




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