Do you want a tablet that handles desktop-style tasks like word processing as well as it handles more mobile-centric touchscreen chores? Microsoft has a new operating system it would love for you to try out, but open-source lovers may want to turn their attentions to the Pengpod, instead. A crowdfunding survivor, the PengPod is a dirt-cheap, 7-inch Android tablet that can dual-boot a Linux distro stored on an SD card.
The Linux image runs the KDE Plasma Active user interface, which was built for touchscreen interaction. The same UI is used by the Vivaldi tablet, a solely Linux-based tablet — not Android — that recently closed to preorders after a massive surge of demand.
A company called Peacock Imports is making the slates, ArsTechnica reports. The tablet itself sports a capacitive touchscreen with an 800 x 480 resolution, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, Wi-Fi, and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. You’ll also find USB and HDMI ports alongside the aforementioned SD card slot. The tablet will run Android ICS by default.
If you’re drooling over the thought of dual-booting Android and Linux, you’ll be even happier with the price. Early funders bought into the tablet with a $99 pledge; that cash drive is closed, but you can now preorder the PengPod 700 for $110 on the PengPod website. The first units are expected to ship out in January, and a $185 10-inch PengPod 1000 is also in the works. Just don’t expect Nexus 7-like performance out of those pedestrian specs.