Tablet computers will shine in 2011, but perhaps not all of them will run Windows or Google’s Android after all.
According to unconfirmed reports, at least one Taiwanese company, TENQ, has come up with a tablet running Ubuntu Linux 10.10 Netbook Edition, the model P07.
The exact specs, price and release date are unknown, but from leaked images will include a 10.1-inch multitouch screen (supported by Maverick Meerkat), 2Gb of RAM, a 32GB SSD drive and running a 1.6GHz Atom chip.
The site that broke the story claimed the device was a derivative of a tablet originally designed to run Windows and that boot-up times were near-instant.
News of the Ubuntu tablet has emerged in the same way that many of these stories come to light. Obscure vendor unexpectedly puts Linux OS on device without committing to release a product. What is clear, however, is that Asian vendors are looking beyond the Widows-Android-BlackBerry axis for tablet products, in the same way they did with netbooks.
By the time tablets start appearing in earnest, Ubuntu will have moved on to 11.04, ‘Nutty Narwhal’, which is already in beta. The Netbook Edition derivative of that looks likely to be used on tablets, continuing the OS’s emergence as a recognised force in the consumer space.