Canonical has finally announced its first device to support the long-promised 'convergence' features of its Ubuntu operating system: the bq Aquaris M10 tablet.
Introduced as one of the proposed features of the crowd-funded Ubuntu Edge smartphone, convergence allows the user of an Ubuntu mobile device to connect an external display, keyboard, and mouse and use it as a fully-functional desktop. Sadly, the failure of the Ubuntu Edge project meant a delay to offering converged devices into the market - a delay which has allowed Microsoft to beat Canonical to the punch, offering a similar feature as part of its Windows 10 Mobile operating system.
While it may no longer be an exclusive feature, Canonical is forging ahead with offering convergence to the small section of the market not buying iOS or Android based mobile devices. Following on from its partnership with Spanish mobile giant bq, which has previously launched two Ubuntu Edition smartphones based on existing Android-powered hardware designs, the bq Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition promises a fully-functional converged desktop experience.
'The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is our third mobile device to ship with Ubuntu,' crowed bq's deputy chief executive Rodrigo del Prado of the partnership. 'Our customers were delighted with the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition and Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition phones, and we’re excited to be the first OEM to ship the converged Ubuntu experience. It’s this kind of innovation that makes BQ and Ubuntu such a great fit.'
The internals of the tablet, though, are a considerable step down from the Ubuntu Edge proposals - despite being a larger form factor. The device is based around a MediaTEk MT8163A quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, driving a 10.1" 1920x1080 touch display. The entire tablet comes in at 8.2mm thickness and weighs 470g, with a 7,280mAh lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery.
Pricing for the device has yet to be confirmed, with more details expected ahead of the tablet's projected second-quarter launch.