Sparks Tablet – Linux powered tablet

With the number of tablets been pushed into the market on a daily basis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a choice on which is better than the other. The consumer market is currently over populated with tablet devices from Apple’s iPad to the numerous Android tablets.  Another kid on the block with a little variant is the Spark Table (not yet on sale though).

Spark is a new Linux powered tablet powered by the KDE Plasma Desktop Environment. KDE is one of the most popular desktop environments in the Linux community.  Based on the hardware specification for the Spark it hasn’t brought anything new to the scene.  However,  it will appeal to open source software developers who want an inexpensive hardware environment for developing touchscreen-friendly applications with Qt and QML.

The device will come with a 7 inch display, 1GHz processor , 4GB internal memory plus and SD card slot and what is more interesting is the fact that the retail price will begin at €200.

KDE developer Aaron Seigo announced on his blog the upcoming Spark tablet and made the following quotes:

This is a unique opportunity for Free software. Finally we have a device coming to market on our terms. It has been designed by and is usable by us on our terms.

We are not waiting for some big company to give us what we desire, we’re going out there and making it happen together. Just as important: the proceeds will be helping fuel the efforts that make this all possible.

KDE enthusiasts commenting on Seigo’s blog have pointed out that the hardware appears to have been sourced from a Shenzhen manufacturer called Zenithink and that it resembles one of the company’s Android tablets.

The Spark will ship with Plasma Active, which is a variant of Plasma designed specifically for touchscreen devices. It has an onscreen keyboard and a variety of other features that make it suitable for tablets. It has also been optimized to keep the memory footprint small. Seigo says that additional information about the Spark, such as the launch date, will be available later.

Since software will make or break even amazing hardware, we are well pleased to discover that the Spark tablet does have its fair share of hits in terms of software. Since the KDE Plasma Active team is involved with the Spark project, you can be sure that the Spark tablet will run Linux, coupled with the team’s free software distribution platform. Since software distribution is wholly community-driven and open, you can be sure that enthusiasts who jump aboard the Spark tablet bandwagon will be on the lookout for some fun apps, and if none are available, I am quite sure that several of them will get down to code amazing software in due time – what do you think?