Canonical Tries Bringing The Full PC Ubuntu Experience In A Tablet

By 01:40 Sat, 31 Jul 2021 Comments

Remember the Ubuntu Edge? It was Canonical's quite ambitious endeavor to bring a full desktop-grade Ubuntu experience in a dockable mobile phone. It all started and sadly failed in crowdfunding all the way back in 2013, way before Microsoft was even close to its strikingly similar Windows 10 Continuum experience.

Now, well over two years later, the project appears to be still alive and kicking and more relevant than ever, as evident by Canonical's announcement of a brand recent tablet that offers the Personal Computer (PC) dock experience.

The concept is relatively simple – create a mobile Operating System (OS) that utilizes the same core as its desktop counterpart, or at least a subset of it, like Window's Universal apps or a common Linux kernel with specialized scalable UI elements, as provided by Ubuntu. Then you can simply run the same apps across all your devices just with slightly different interfaces – no need for porting and costly additional development.

The newly announced Canonical tablet is a modification of the Aquaris M10 from Spanish manufacturer BQ. It is equipped with a 10.1 display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Under the hood is a Mediatek MT8163B SoC with quad-core Central Processing Units (CPU) clocked at 1.3 GHz, 2GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) and 16GB of onboard storage. It is definitely not a powerhouse, but the key features are the onboard HDMI and Universal Serial Bus (USB) Host that allow you to dock the device to a monitor plus keyboard, moutilize combo. Also, the 7,280 mAh battery is a definite plus.

Just like Microsoft's Continuum, the experience is still in its infancy, but Canonical is confident that it already has a library of supported apps to cover most basic utilize cases. If nothing else, most browsers scale nicely and so do LibreOffice apps, so Ubuntu Convergence is usable even in this early state. Canonical also feels confident that Ubuntu's technically skilled fans will find a way to load the Operating System (OS) onto other devices, as the Convergence feature is now basically a part of the latest version of the Ubuntu mobile OS.

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