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New Spark Tablet To Come Loaded With KDE's Active Plasma Interface

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the domain-folding dept.

Handhelds 114

mpol writes "KDE's Plasma Active introduced last Saturday its own 7" tablet. According to Aaron J. Seigo, 'It's the first tablet computer that comes with Plasma Active pre-installed.' The Spark, with its 7" screen, is built around a Cortex A9 with a Mali-400-gpu, 512MB RAM and an SD-card slot. It will have a 800x480 screen resolution and will cost around 200 Euro. It is actually a rebrand of the Zenithink ZT-180 C71, which comes with Android by default. On a personal note, Aaron J. Seigo will no longer be sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks to work on Qt and KDE. He will, however, stay involved with KDE and Free Software, he says."

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114 comments

Spark != SPARC (4, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857069)

I just woke up and decided to read ./. And to my surprise someone was making a SPARC based tablet running KDE, AWESOME! Then I read the summary. Gets Coffee...

Re:Spark != SPARC (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857243)

Yeah and I thought it read Gnu Spork Table Too Comb Lauded Wit KFC's Archive Palm Intertubes. Seriously, I don't want to see everyon's spelling/reading comprehension problems on slashdot.

Re:Spark != SPARC (4, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857479)

To be fair, I can see the editors confusing SPARC and spark.

Re:Spark != SPARC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858841)

aww, didn't take your midol today?

Re:Spark != SPARC (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857605)

And it had about 20 seconds of battery life :) Tho the Zenithink ZT-180 doesn't have a lot more ( if you hit 3 hours you are doing good )

Re:Spark != SPARC (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859313)

Yeah I've noticed talking to customers that jumped on the tablet bandwagon most of them suck on time which to me kinda kills the whole point of having one. What are they doing wrong? Are they making them too thin and thus with no room for a battery? Are they using shitty batteries? Because my EEE 1215B isn't much thicker yet gets nearly 8 hours under Expressgate and 6 hours with Win 7 HP X64, and that's with me watching 720p movies. Now I know the E-350 has hardware decode but surely a generic X86-64 chip, even one designed for low power like Zacate, surely it uses more power than ARM right? so what's the deal?

Because most of the reviews on the new tablets unless you buy one like the Transformer where the keyboard has a second battery the average seems to be around 2 and a half hours which to me is kinds worthless. i mean who cares if they stick Plasma or Ubuntu or whatever on the thing if you've got to have a cord running from it to the wall constantly? Hell if you're gonna get that little time you might as well stick with your smart phone which is what my customers are finding out, most are using their android tablets as expensive digital photo frames.

Re:Spark != SPARC (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#38859971)

You must be talking to the wrong people.

My $120 Ainol Novo 7 easily gets 5 hours on a charge, while a friend's Zenithink ZT280 does about 6 hours.

Re:Spark != SPARC (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38860405)

yea try doing more than text based email client...Your type of FUD is what causes users spend $ on bad quality products.

Re:Spark != SPARC (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860755)

Your type of FUD is what causes users spend $ on bad quality products.

I'd say the FUD is coming from another direction...

Ainol Novo 7 Advanced [Battery test] Real life battery test of Ainol Novo 7 Advanced.

Charging 1 - 3 hours 51 min
I drained the battery and charged via AC charger.
Start 14:34
84% 17:18
99% 18:26
100% 18:45

Video Playback Test 1 - 6 hours 56 min
Settings: The screen was set to minimum brightness, speaker muted.
MX Video Player was used for playback.
Video file: [SAR] Millennium Actress DVDrip (H.264 AAC_5.1 EngSub).mkv (more details on video file end of post)
Video file was played from external micro SD card on a loop

Re:Spark != SPARC (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861201)

now turn on the sound and make the picture visible then redo the benchmark

Re:Spark != SPARC (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861385)

I didn't do it in the first place. I Googled it.

My statement that I easily get 5 hrs on a charge is consistent with external benchmarks like this one, which gets almost 7 hours of video playing.

Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

Re:Spark != SPARC (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861749)

Because most of the reviews on the new tablets unless you buy one like the Transformer where the keyboard has a second battery the average seems to be around 2 and a half hours which to me is kinds worthless.

Where do you get your numbers from?..

iPad normally lasts 8-9 hours. Most Honeycomb tablets, 7-8 hours. Transformer Prime without the dock lasts 10-12 hours.

Re:Spark != SPARC (2, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857999)

In that context, remember the SPARC notebooks that Tadpole Technology used to make, somewhere in the early 90s? That would have been a great notebook for Linux and BSD. And had anyone made a SPARC w/ really low power consumption capable of tablet use, that could have had some good potential as a tablet and one could have had Gnome3, KDE4.8 or even Unity on it ;)

Named "Spark" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38859467)

Because it will shine for a few secons and then disappear forever?

Re:Spark != SPARC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861617)

And KDE is not CDE! Too bad, we could have had a clone of that by now ;)

i'll believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857101)

it when i see it, otherwise, nice to dream

Android needs some competition (5, Informative)

visualight (468005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857127)

And this is a start. The recent story around the Asus Prime indicates that Google Video may be the reason that non-phone wifi only tablets have locked boot loaders, so I'm not seeing Android as "open" anymore. Really hope this is good.

Re:Android needs some competition (4, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857305)

Media sales via the Android Market in general, more like it.

And it echoes a statement made by Nokia regarding Maemo/Meego, where they said the then upcoming phone would have a dual mode boot loader. One mode would check signatures on vital OS components, but would allow media purchases via the Nokia Ovi store. The other mode would allow people to tinker with the OS internals, but would lock them out of the mentioned store and any media bought from there.

I wonder if this is why we see the hoopla about UEFI cryptographic boot in Win8, because MS is trying to set up a Window online store themselves and big media is demanding "trusted computing" before they put anything into the store.

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861799)

Media sales via the Android Market in general, more like it.

Close. Google have officially joined the dark side.

They bought a DRM company called Widevine [widevine.com] , which handles the digital restrictions on Blockbuster, Netflix et al.

It looks like the original purchase was for their move into internet TV, but collateral damage has ensured that sadly, Android is now Defective by Design Those of us who enjoy using and modifying our own property will have to part ways with the official Android releases. I'm looking forward to seeing some nice Linux distros on Arm tablets.
http://www.osnews.com/story/24099/Google_buy_DRM_firm_Widevine_Solution_to_HTML5_Video_Adoption_ [osnews.com]

Reality is a bitch (4, Informative)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857797)

Funny how the phones designed directly by Google or in strict collaboration with Google (the Nexus series) all have an unlockable booloader and support Google Videos.

Re:Reality is a bitch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858513)

And countries where operators sells all devices unlocked (bootloader & SIM card) while they are very tighly locked in USA and some other countries.

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857997)

Wrong, my Xoom Wifi has unlockable bootloader and supports Google Video store just fine

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858245)

Well, why did samsung sell unlocked wifi only tablets and then lock encrypt them at the same time they added google video? Also, this:
http://phandroid.com/2011/04/17/source-samsung-will-not-lock-bootloaders-unless-google-requires-it/ [phandroid.com]

So did Google require it, or is Samsung just a dishonest company? (by dishonest I don't mean the leaked statement above, I mean boosting sales with unlocked tablets and then locking them later)

Asus pretty much "blamed" Google for encrypting the boot loader on the Prime. I haven't seen any statements from Samsung on the matter. I did call and email support to see if they would, phone support told me to email and email support told me to phone.

Anyway, I know Samsung cannot be trusted and I'm suspicious of Google.

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859117)

Ahem. lets not forget that this was not an official statement by samsung, but an unknown inside source, which may be prone to one of the following effects:

a) overestimation of the own knowledge

b) intentional misinformation inside the company

c) making himself/herself more important to the journalist than he is

d) The samsung legal department changing their opinion on what "google requires" means for them (its not an easy question if you take the liability for the installed SW all around the world)

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858195)

It has plenty. Just within Linux/BSD itself, it has iOS, WebOS, Ubuntu tablet and now this, and outside it, it has Windows 8 and RIM/QNX. At this point at least, nobody can complain that it's a market w/ just Google & Apple as the main players.

Re:Android needs some competition (1)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859253)

I didn't know what you were referring to and searched:

http://gizmodo.com/5872925/asus-relents-on-locked-transformer-prime-bootloader [gizmodo.com]

"Asus says the bootloader had to be locked to provide you with certain content services. And it's true that if you choose to employ the (release-date-TBD) Transformer Prime unlock tool you'll be frozen out of Google video rental through the Android market. Oh, and you'll void your warranty. "

Why does it need to freeze you out? Let's say something similar like netflix. Works on windows and last I checked my bootloader wasn't locked. why does it need to be locked simply cause it's a mobile device?

About it's a start. Linux has had a hard time getting any significant desktop market share, but this was fertile territory and someone should have taken this path years ago. If say someone like Mark Shuttleworth saw this potential and realized that this is somewhere a linux based os could shine, maybe we'd already have a true open source mobile OS that had significant market share.

Someone make a post saying what Plasma Active is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857135)

nt

KDE on 512MB RAM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857153)

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Good luck with that

Re:KDE on 512MB RAM? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857363)

By the way, they don't just dump default KDE on and call it Plasma Active, a lot of optimization and tweaking has been done for it to have decent performance.

Re:KDE on 512MB RAM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858219)

And besides, the current version is meant for developers and testers, not regular users.

Re:KDE on 512MB RAM? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857509)

KDE can very well run on 512mb of ram. KDE 4 has a smaller memory usage then KDE 3.5 which runs decently with 512mb of ram. Early version of KDE 4 used a bit too much CPU, however, though this may have changed. I'm also sure this has been carefully customized so the QT framework is the only framework. Now it will slow down to a crawl if used for heavy multitasking (apps that don't rely on the framework much) but single tasking or light multitasking usage, which is more tablet like anyways, will be perfectly fine.

KDE has always been large because of it's large library. That means that more functions are shared across programs. Basically a large base footprint with smaller program footprints. The KDE still fits well within 512mb.

Proof:
http://blogs.kde.org/node/3138
http://phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?22401-KDE4-memory-usage-vs-KDE3-gt-benchmark
http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/applications/414533-memory-usage-11-1-kde4.html
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_desktop_vitals&num=1 (this uses ubuntu which which also includes the gtk framework hence the higher memory usage)

and many others online.

Re:KDE on 512MB RAM? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857603)

I have slackware 13.0 with KDE on my laptop (which I use more than my desktop). It's a 1.4Ghz Pentium M with 512MB of RAM and Nvidia 5200Go gfx.
And it runs great....

To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857175)

There have been a few other linux tablets and so far they just don't compete on specs. They seem to think that going linux means going budget but I am a Linux user and have no interest whatsoever in going budget.

This thing seems to have a single core CPU... the new asus tablet transformer prime has 4.

A 800x480 resolution, my 2 year old MP3 player has that, on a far smaller screen. The tablet after the prime, the TF700T, will have a 1920x1200 resolution.

Yes, these are larger devices and cost three times as much but geez whiz, where are you more likely to find people who will appreciate having a full OS at their disposal with real desktop quality applications instead of fart apps, at the bottom budget market or at the high end cutting edge?

MS must be loving this, there tablets are not going to be underpowered rebrands of yesterday model, so if an average consumer is browsing for a tablet, they will see highend sexy devices as being Android/iOS/Windows8 and Linux in the bargain bin... and gosh, wanna bet that people who bargain hunt will still want Android/iOS/Windows8 and just get an older device?

Evidence? The total and complete failure of previous linux tablets that pulled such braindead stunts as using a resistive screen... Save a few pennies and make your device basically unsellable.

It is basic economy, niche markets exist at the high end not the bottom end. You can't sell handmade fiat panda's.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (5, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857317)

1. this is a enthusiast project and so is likely bootstrapped on a shoestring budget.

2. they are trying to get all drivers into the kernel proper, no blobs and similar. This means finding a supplier that can go along with that.

Android have none of these issues, and so can get the latest and greatest.

In the end one have to decide what is more important, principles or instant gratification.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857383)

In the end one have to decide what is more important, principles or instant gratification.

Right now it's price. Damn things and computers in general are an enormous ripoff.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857457)

says the boy that has zero clue.

Maybe you need to get yourself a class in economics and understand that Computing devices in the USA are dirt dirt cheap because of the slave labor, they are built with.

Just because you cant afford a $399.00 ipad/androidpad/low end laptop, does not make it a rip off.

In fact it's an incredibly cheap price for what you get. Try saving up all your money from your paper route for 2 years to buy a TRS-80 Model I so you could have a computer that was B&W only and had less power than a $9.00 watch.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857545)

Just because you cant afford a $399.00 ipad/androidpad/low end laptop...

Sez you... Despite the slave labor, Computing devices in the USA are NOT dirt dirt cheap.. These things stay high priced because idiots will pay it. Maybe the price could be justified if the device could be considered a "durable good". But they're crap. designed to break down faster than a biodegradable plastic shopping bag. And that's not even considering the upgrade treadmill.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858591)

Apparently, you never had the pleasure of running an Acer Aspire "budget PC", which cost $1800 in 1995, used a Cyrix PR 120/150 that crashed and burned under ZERO load. THOSE were crap. The goods you get nowadays are significantly cheaper, even WITHOUT cost/inflation differences between here and there, AND they are a billion times more stable/usable.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858749)

I presently own a $2700 Toshiba (133 Mhz/144mb RAM) that I bought brand new in 1997 that doesn't crash very often at all, and its original battery still gives reasonable service. Even the CMOS battery hasn't quit yet. It's not my primary machine, but I do like to show it off to visitors.

And I'm also aware that price fixing runs rampant in this business (like far too many others)... to the point where they blow up [google.com] their factories when the market becomes too saturated, and of course the exploitation of natural disasters [google.com] doesn't hurt.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#38859633)

Before the flood I paid $300 for a 12 inch EEE 1215B, that's an E-350 dual core with an HD6310 GPU built in, 320Gb of RAM and I got an 8Gb upgrade on the RAM since it came with Win 7 HP X64 (the RAM was $32 after MIR) and a nice carrying sleeve for it for a final price of $352 shipped. Even after the flood you can still pick it up for $450 [amazon.com] for a dual core that gets 6 hours playing 720p or 8 hours under expressgate. Seriously how fucking cheap do you think they can go? With a little care a unit like that can easily last you 5 plus years and my 17 inch Dell from 2005 last i heard is STILL running just fine with the guy that bought it off me, same as my Athlon dual laptop from 09 I sold to help pay for my EEE.

While i'm sure there is some price fixing that happens luckily enough there is enough companies still fighting for business that prices are pretty damned low. the PC I'm typing this on I built myself for less than $850 if you count the upgrades, less than $700 if you count the fact i got $50 for the original dual core and the board and quad i had after that is now in my GFs PC so I didn't have to buy those, and we're talking 6 cores, 8Gb of RAM, an HD4850 GPU, 3Tb of HDDs, dual DVD burners and a 1600x900 22 inch screen. Dude that is insanely cheap for that amount of power! hell my customers get new triples and quads to hook up to their HDTVs for around $550 and that is with me making a nice profit putting them together, again that is just crazy cheap.

So I really don't see what anyone is bitching about, my first x86 was a whole 40Mhz (I stayed with the VIC and Trash 80 for years past everyone else) and I got a steal on the thing at $500 simply because the guy wanted to get a state of the art 100Mhz to play Hexen with. By the time i got a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc i was out damned near $800 and again i got 'em cheaper than ordinary folks because i knew people. it wasn't a year and a half before the software coming out wouldn't run decently on it because it was too slow and there was ZERO upgrade paths so I was SOL. Now I can build a box and have it run the latest software no problem years later, the nettop i use to surf in the shop is a 2004 Sempron 1.8Ghz with 1.5gb of RAM and frankly it'll do anything on the web I wanna do. My boys are gonna finally have to be upgraded this spring because some of the newer games don't play nice on their Pentium Ds which is a circa 2006 chip but I'll get to keep their HD4850s which I paid a whole $60 refurb for a couple of years back.

dude the amount of power we get for dirt cheap is truly mind boggling and the amount of time it lasts is just nuts. you can buy an AMD E-350 board for like $80, slap a 4gb RAM chip in it for $20, and have a system you can surf with 5 years from now, hell you can even plug it in via HDMI to your widescreen and it'll play 1080p no problem. So I don't know what anybody is bitching about, as someone who has been into computing since the days of the VIC and Trash 80 I'd consider this a "golden age" of computing, where even the throw away stuff is so insanely overpowered it'll do the jobs 90% of the public want to do with them with ease. Hell I've already got a buyer for the guts out of one of the boys boxes so that 2006 Pentium D will just be moved along with the board and RAM from his machine to a neighbor who while having no trouble surfing with his late model P4 has a couple of older flight sims he wants to play online and that Pentium D will be more than enough for that. i wouldn't be surprised if a decade from now he's not still running that 2006 chip and quite happy with it, its a golden age friend, enjoy it.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860511)

So how much should they be?

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857447)

I subscribe to the princible "the princible of instant gratification."

I.e. shotgun rampage during a zombie apocalypse.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858741)

In the end one have to decide what is more important, principles or instant gratification.

The article says only that the tablet will be "available to the public." It doesn't say "we have a retail distributor." There is nothing here about actual production runs, marketing support or shelf space.

Crap tech quarantees instant frustration in exchange for your 300 Euro.

Principles be damned.

Instant gratification of course! (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859007)

Okay, principles? How about NOT buying from China then? I try as much as possible... buying Cowon whenever possible as they tend to produce in their own country unlike most others.

Or are your opensource principles the same as my principles of not buying from a country that harvests the organs from executed political prisoners?

The idea of creating an opensource OS for a tablet is nice but you won't get anywhere if you don't go the whole hog. THAT is why Apple is so damned fucking succesful with their products. They don't compromise, don't say "ooh that would be difficult, lets go the cheap route".

You cannot promote linux by associating it with bargain basement obsolete tech. Some nerds might care that you can run it on a C64, the general public doesn't give a hoot, they want a shiny gadget and the productive nerds like me just want something that can doesn't take half an hour to boot just because it is open. I will just stick with following smarter nerds then me, and install linux on an android device with their howto guides.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859041)

You realize Asus announced at CES it will soon be releasing a 7" Tegra 3 tablet for $250?

Too bad the smartphone market is collusive. Smartphones and tablets use the exact same hardware, except tablets have much bigger and more expensive screens and batteries. Yet the tablets retail for 1/3 the price of smartphones.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859443)

You realize Asus announced at CES it will soon be releasing a 7" Tegra 3 tablet for $250?

Too bad the smartphone market is collusive. Smartphones and tablets use the exact same hardware, except tablets have much bigger and more expensive screens and batteries. Yet the tablets retail for 1/3 the price of smartphones.

And your phone has cellular/3G/4G radios, which add extra hardware and lots of licensing costs.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (3, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857443)

Why does the specs matters for a tablet (or for a netbook or notebook)? As long as it does what is suppose to do, meaning playing videos and show Pdfs, I really don't care if it's have 10 CPUs or just one. What matters is the whole product and if it's useable or better then the competition. I would wait for the product and for the reviews.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858039)

Why does the specs matters for a tablet (or for a netbook or notebook)? As long as it does what is suppose to do, meaning...

Embedding "the cloud" on the consumer mindset, and centralizing the CPU & storage components under someone else's control, assisting in the redefinition of the internet as a one-way information source.
I like the look of tablets, but I really dislike the "next-level" specialization they are bringing to the game. Why no SATA ports at all? No chance of you ever making a "real" computer out of that, even once you've upgraded to the new hotness a year from now. You're lucky if you get an SD slot of some kind. And you're only getting an SD slot because the industry is about to be embed digital locking mechanisms into all flash.
Tablets have been given the primary task of embedding industry controls on the consumer side, and centralizing the important hardware under the industry collective's control.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861653)

Specs matter to those of us who neither want to waste time or money. We're not going to buy a device for the sake of being able to have a Linux tablet. There will be $250 quad-core 7" android tablets with beautiful IPS multitouch panels and 1080P megapixel cameras. This Aseigo Linux tablet has comparable specs to a $99 7" Android tablet on the market today.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#38859461)

I'll get hate for saying this but I think its a "chickens coming home to roost" scenario with Linux. For years Linux devs about how low powered you could go, like it was some sort of CPU/RAM limbo pole, and we've seen the web positively spammed by "take that dumpster dived machine and make it a new system with Linux!" articles all over the place. So what did anyone expect the OEMs to do when everyone was telling them you could run Linux on a wristwatch?

I've also noticed it gives OEMs an excuse to dump their parts bins instead of having to take a loss on them selling them as OEM parts on the secondary market, look at the Everex desktops they used to sell at Walmart for an example, which they went out of business BTW. While everyone else was at a bare minimum selling much higher clocked Celeron or sempron CPUs they took the cheapest most bottom of the line Via chip they could get, i think it was a lousy 1.2Ghz IIRC, may have been a 1.5Ghz, stuck it with a lousy 512Mb of RAM in 2 256Mb sticks (to get rid of old stock I'm sure) when everyone else had 1 1Gb stick and finished it off with IIRC a lousy CDRW when everyone else had a minimum DVDROM/CDRW combo drive. so what you ended up with was a machine that was worse in every single metric to what the competition had and frankly because they really couldn't get massive economies of scale even the price wasn't that great, they were $199 whereas you could get a MUCH better specc'ed offlease for $175 at the time or spend a little more and Walmart had one with again MUCH better specs WITH the mouse keyboard and a 15 inch screen for like $299.

So maybe the Linux guys need to cut the bullshit and be honest about the REAL system specs? maybe get together and set bare minimums for ARM and X86 that will actually give the users a comfortable experience and tell the OEMs they can't use the distro name or Linux trademarks if they cheap out and go lower? Because you are right these things really don't help Linux adoption because as anyone who has tried one, and i actually played with the Everex unit so i have, can tell you with the specs too low its a sluggish jerky mess. If that would have been my only chance to try Linux i would have thought it was a total POS simply because it was gimped by lame hardware. At least after they got spanked by Vista MSFT grew a brain and realized they couldn't keep upping the system reqs and have seriously scaled back on the power usage and the OEMs always knew their numbers were bullshit anyway, which is why we always had the "Take whatever numbers MSFT gives and double it" rule.

While I don't know enough about the ARM arch to recommend specs, for X86 I'd say a bare minimum 1.2Ghz with 1Gb of RAM would be more fair for minimum, with a 2.2Ghz with 256Mb of RAM on the GPU and 2gb system RAM being more in line for a recommended setting. what do you think? Too low?

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (1)

comrade k (787383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861921)

Mod parent up.

Though I will say that things can run well on older hardware depending on your task. If you can live without flash player, HD video, games, semantic desktops, etc, then a 700MHz Pentium III with 384 MB of RAM will run just fine. I have such a box, running Arch, that I use for IRC (irssi), occasional Web browsing (Midori), IM (Pidgin or Finch) and Email (mutt). I think it's using Openbox + fbpanel for a desktop. For me? For the task? it's fine. For Joe User? Surprisingly usable with lightweight GUI applications installed. It's not the prettiest girl at the prom, but it'll put out.

At the end of the day, it's not going to stream videos from YouTube (not very well anyway -- but I've never tried). But if a family member or friend needed ANY kind of computer for free? I could give it away and it would do the bare minimum.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (0)

Meditato (1613545) | about 2 years ago | (#38859715)

I think you seem to be forgetting that Android is Linux. No, it's not desktop Linux (I agree that desktop Linux is not suited to tablets), but stop making generalizations about "Linux" being a failure. Android (and even WebOS, depending on who you talk to) is clear evidence that Linux on tablets is not a bad idea.

Re:To bad the specs once again suck donkey balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38860217)

You can pimp your Fiat Panda though......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbM9b6a3Ys0

why the premium price ? (4, Insightful)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857177)

Since the KDE plasma tablet is the zenithink c71, why should the price be 200€ when the android version is 139 ?
Does Google sponsors the Android tablets that much ?

I do understand that the developpers expect to make some revenue for their work, but at this price it just kills the device...
A typical software licence in this domain is less than 20€ for the OS and 15€ for the codecs (and this would be for very small quantities....)
So the price should not be more than 175, and even then it should be marketed as "dual boot" Android and Linux (since you'd pay for Android anyway)

So it seems that the distribution channel is not under control, and most probably it will die just like other great technical ideas not correctly implemented
Sad ...

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857249)

pandawill sells it for 126$. With coupon it's 116$ including shipping, which amounts to less than 90€.

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857537)

This is interesting, but actually proves the point, why pay 200€ when you can pay 90€+20% VAT so approx 110€
90€ is a very high "premium" cost for KDE....
It would make more sense if the table would actually be "super high value"
(If you could have a tablet with 2 7" screens, less than 800g super fast with wifi, UTMS, camera, coffe machine interface
for 600€ the 90€ up price would be much easier to stomach...)

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857553)

they just suck at bargaining. g doesn't subside random chinese manufacturers to do androids anyhow.

really, what they should do - even if it seems stupid - would be to hack their kde desktop to run as an application inside android.

then you could just install the apk and boom - you got your kde desktop running, could interface the mobile etc api's that have binary drivers, so could "apps" for that app. the app could take over the hw buttons too so you'd need to exit the kde app cumbersomely.

and you could just buy a random tablet or phone to run it, at good pricing - wouldn't need to root it either.

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857621)

€200 is cheap considering the volumes this unit is likely to sell. He's likely to sell quite many, earn quite a lot of bucks, and hopefully draw lots of positive attention to the KDE Plasma Active interface. Thumbs up from my side.

I don't really see the point in comparing this device to a €139 device that sells millions. You don't _start_ by providing the cheapest device.

Re:why the premium price ? (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857911)

I don't really see the point in comparing this device to a €139 device that sells millions.

It isn't comparing two different devices, it's showing two price points for the *exact same device*, with different software loads, both of which are OSS.

Of course, it oversimplifies things. On one hand you have the practical market evident price for a device already on sale. On the other hand, what is effectively 'MSRP' as suggested at announce. Rarely in this sort of situation does MSRP have a particularly strong correlation to the price it sells at. I wouldn't be surprised if pricing ended up being about even when things settle in.

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859051)

Asus announced at CES it will sell at Tegra 3 7" tablet for $250. Too bad smartphones with the exact same hardware retail for 3 times the price.

Re:why the premium price ? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862559)

The OEM could be raking them over the coals on volume, or possibly holding the kernel sources ransom. CordiaTab [cordiatab.com] was trying to do this earlier this year, but got stopped due to the OEM demanding $6000 for the kernel sources after they had been distributed in binary on tablets (the Dreambook W7.)

So it could be a screwjob by the Shenzen OEM as well.

plasma active in not a plasma screen. it is... (1, Informative)

doug141 (863552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857195)

an interface intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as settop boxes, smart TVs (plasma!), home automation or in-vehicle infotainment. Plasma Active is a joint project by the KDE community, basysKom and open-slx.

Re:plasma active in not a plasma screen. it is... (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857329)

"basysKom and open-slx" aaaah, that clears things up!

Re:plasma active in not a plasma screen. it is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857335)

an interface intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as settop boxes, smart TVs (plasma!), home automation or in-vehicle infotainment.

I'd be more interested in a plasma screen than a new interface. Why don't they just use HDMI?

Finally an excuse to run KDE (1, Funny)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857207)

It came pre-installed with the computer, and I couldn't be bothered to replace it

Re:Finally an excuse to run KDE (2)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858907)

Why do you need an excuse? In fact, pro-linux.de [pro-linux.de] run a poll what is the most used desktop environment. KDE is with 43% the most used, Gnome3 is 12% and Gnome2 is 14% and all the others are lower.

So I would say that KDE is very much used, maybe more than Gnome.

Re:Finally an excuse to run KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858955)

"Why do you need an excuse?"

cause its crap that's why

Krauts eh? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859157)

KDE 3, not KDE 4 has that high usage rate... says a lot if you think about it. A lot about the usability of polls with a very niche audience. German readers of a linux mag that bother with online polls. Wouldn't suprise me if 43% is in reality 2 people in this sample group.

Re:Krauts eh? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#38859691)

Nope, it's KDE 4. KDE 3 has 1%. You read it wrong (which is pretty easy to do, since the graph is quite shitty). Also, you do know 2 people could never be 43%, right? Unless you dismember one or more integrants.

Re:Finally an excuse to run KDE (1)

comrade k (787383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38862623)

Isn't KDE substantially more popular in Deutschland than anywhere else?
I mean, the KDE founder was given the German Federal Cross of Merit [kde.org] for pete's sake

Bad tablet (5, Informative)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857213)

ZT-180 C71 has a slow single core AML8726-M CPU (despite being based on ARM A9 which is usually found in dual or quad core configurations), low resolution screen and just 512M of RAM. It costs 120$-130$ including international shipping.

There are much better Chinese tablets now (with higher resolution, 1GB ram, IPS screens. Even dual core cpus, though not as good as branded offerings).

Re:Bad tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38861439)

Which Chinese tablets? I've seen a lot of terrible knockoffs, running Android 2.2 (or earlier) with bizzare modifications, sketchy screens, and no support, but I don't know of any half-decent ones.

And it will suck (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857427)

I have been down the Linux, Gnome,KDE tablet road several times. and they dont have Handwriting recognition or on screen keyboard as a part of the window manager. It will suck unless they built those into the WM.

All the Linux UI's need to have tablet specific code in them. Make them rotate orientation smoothly without wierd artifacts or location issues,etc...

Linux Tablets have a future if the UI devs stop with the eye candy crap and focus on adding in Tablet specific features that 90% of the UI users(I.E. non tablet users) will never use.

Re:And it will suck (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857739)

It's not exactly a tablet but I've got standard Kubuntu installed on an HP TouchSmart and there are several on-screen keyboards to choose from.
And they work quite well.

Re:And it will suck (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858815)

and none of them pop up the second you click on a text field. It's an epic fail that I have to go hunting for it or take up 1/5 of the screen all the time with it.

Re:And it will suck (5, Informative)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857827)

Plasma active _is_ a tablet-specific UI. The whole point of plasma as a foundation for the KDE desktop was that you got a generic library for making interfaces.

They have a desktop interface, but the also have a netbook interface. Active is their tablet interface. I have played around with it on an asus T91MT, and it works quite well. In fact, it is perhaps the only tablet interface which does multitasking in a clever way.

And yes the on-screen keyboard pops up when you touch a text entry field. And they also provide touch-friendly interfaces for common apps.

Re:And it will suck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858485)

Plasma active _is_ a tablet-specific UI. In fact, it is perhaps the only tablet interface which does multitasking in a clever way.

1. You mean that unlike running plasma on a desktop the whole thing doesn't grind to a halt when a plasmoid needs a network connection and can't find one? I sure wish they'd import that feature to the desktop version. I get fed up of my KDE desktop completely freezing a few times a week because my network connection has temporarily gone down.

2. Maybe they don't use menus in the tablet UI? That would solve the problem of menus suddenly disapprearing a fraction of a second before clicking them because a notification has decided to remove all menu windows because it wants to tell your buddy has just logeed in to IM. Why KDE 4 notifications do this has been a mystery (and source of major annoyance) to me since the very earliest days of KDE 4.

Re:And it will suck (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858825)

I need to try the latest then, as the last time I tried it, it did not pop up for anything in firefox or Chrome.

Re:And it will suck (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858877)

I don't know if that works. I use konqueror of rekonq... They provide a browser optimised for touch, though, which is similar to the one you find on the ipad.

Re:And it will suck (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861761)

I would imagine that it only works for KDE and Qt apps, which neither Firefox nor Chrome are.

Re:And it will suck (1)

suy (1908306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858235)

(...) on screen keyboard as a part of the window manager.

Why exactly the virtual keyboard has to be part of the window manager? Plasma has excellent integration with KWin (obviously). I fail to see the reason why it has to be exactly part of the WM.

Oh, and the virtual keyboard on the Nokia N9 (Maliit [maliit.org] , open source BTW) has received lots of positive reviews, and I've never seen it described as part of the WM.

Re:And it will suck (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861635)

...Handwriting recognition or on screen keyboard as a part of the window manager. It will suck unless they built those into the WM.

Why should handwriting recognition or an on screen keyboard be part of the Window Manager, the part of the GUI that controls window positioning, moving and resizing? Yes, it needs to be part of the User Interface, not tacked on later as an afterthought, but the WM isn't the component that should be controlling it.

But can it run Win8????? (0)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857459)

The obvious non-nerd question

Re:But can it run Win8????? (0)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857745)

Please behave, no four-letter words!

GUI? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857861)

I am all for Plasma based tablets. We need the competition. However, the last time I saw KDE Plasma on a touchscreen device, it was sticking heavily to the desktop paradigm and didn't look all that useful. This wasn't to long ago. I'm sure I am missing something here. Are there any screenshots, videos, or other demos of a new touchscreen paradigm refined Plasma interface?

Re:GUI? (3, Informative)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858329)

As SomeKDEUser pointed out above, KDE has different workspaces (as they call it) for desktops and netbooks/tablets. They don't try to force desktop users to use a tablet UI, as do Microsoft, Canonical & Gnome. Nor do they try to have a desktop UX on a tablet. That way, they can fine tune each workspace to its target platform.

The Active Plasma screenshots [kde.org] show how they've finetuned the interface for a tablet. More details can be found on the KDE website

Re:GUI? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858343)

Thanks. That does look a whole lot more intuitive for the format than the last time I saw screenshots.

Re:GUI? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38860415)

The link you provided is Plasma Netbook. Plasma Active is a different beast http://www.plasma-active.org/

Re:GUI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859269)

I think even the standard Linux desktop would be far more useful to me than Android tablet apps (quality of the Honeycomb/ICS tablet apps on Android is absolute shite).

It may suck, but ... (4, Insightful)

eyegone (644831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858015)

At least the KDE guys aren't trying to shove one uber-interface to rule them all down our throats.

A similar announcement from GNOME would have included a list of all the functionality that was removed from the desktop interface to make it tablet-friendly.

Re:It may suck, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38859545)

At least the KDE guys aren't trying to shove one uber-interface to rule them all down our throats.

"to rule them all down our throats" is quite the unique mix of two colloquialisms...

Re:It may suck, but ... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861649)

Actually, I doubt that Gnome would have to remove much, if anything from Gnome 3 to get it to run on a tablet. From what I can see of it, it was designed as a tablet UI in the first place, then jammed onto a desktop environment.

zt71 problems (and good stuff) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859383)

I certainly hope my c71 can load this directly.

zt71 hardware issues:
- microphone is really bad. first revision wasn't usable, seconf revision barely so with lots of crackles.
- battery life isn't that great. Noticeably worse than my nook color and g-tablet.
- the screen is just meh.

the good:
- runs decently well, pocket legends runs fine.
- already runs ICS pretty stable.
- 2 usb and mini hdmi and microsd.

Re:zt71 problems (and good stuff) (1)

kwark (512736) | about 2 years ago | (#38859993)

What is the display like? I tried an Advent Vega type tablet and its display was a POS. Youtube videos seem to indicate this one has a better display (larger viewing angle). Care to share any thoughts about the screen? Viewing angles in landscape and portrait? Contrast? Black level?

"Linux" and "Android" aren't separate (1)

Meditato (1613545) | about 2 years ago | (#38859757)

Several posts here talk about how "Linux" is somehow bad or unsatisfactory on tablets, then go on to talk about how Android somehow satisfactory. That makes no sense. Android is Linux. If you think a specific variety of Linux is bad, then say so. Stop making these overgeneralizations about "Linux" when you're clearly wrong.

Re:"Linux" and "Android" aren't separate (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861769)

Pragmatically, when most people talk about Linux, they really mean kernel + GNU userspace + X. Android has a matching kernel, but its userspace is very different. From app perspective (which is the one that matters for most), Android is just as alien as OS X.

Re:"Linux" and "Android" aren't separate (1)

Meditato (1613545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38861927)

I understand, but my point is that the "when most people talk about Linux" argument is purely based on an inaccurate popular perception. Any system that relies on the services of the Linux kernel is a Linux system. To talk about Android and Linux as if they are separate entities is just as wrong as if I used the terms "Ubuntu" and "Linux" distinctly when talking about the same issue. If the userspace framework is the critical difference, then talk about that! Don't generically refer to the underlying kernel as if it represents an accurate common theme of unsuccessful tablet OSs, because that's clearly not the case.

200 euros? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#38860071)

Thats asking a bit much for an arm + cheap 7" lcd. 800x480 is probably one of the cheapest panel available. The cheapest being the 480x272, perhaps the second 848x480 (which is closer to 16:9 than 800x480)

Experimental Research KDE branch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38860289)

This is a bit exciting.

Sad about Aaron's funding. He is a good guy. He helped me set up a development environment.
    I wish we could keep paying him. I Nokia going windows is kinda sad for us. I love nokia phones and the fact they they made maemo, and were working on QT.

Now we need to support QT, and our developers.

KDE needs to fix the wiki, right now it is disjointed into 3 sections, so users, developers, and designers cannot communicate easily... so KDE is getting some new features that we have no idea how to use.

I wish we had a development branch for research. So many features get put into KDE that are half thought out, and then they get stuck.

We need to make this software more developer and experimentation friendly, to get developers going on this super great framework!!

Gods help them (1)

scurvyj (1158787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860687)

Plasma is an abortion, and KDE is effectively dead as of 4 (what am I typing on here? 4. I'm most likely going to XFCE sometime soon even though its a GNOMEALIKE without the gbugs). Time for a new GUI I suppose, sigh, but it would be nice if the makers of the existing ones could just FIX THEIR SHIT.
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