The US$265 Linux powered Spark tablet is a new innovation that brings cheap affordable hardware and a open Linux operating system together. This is an incredible innovation, that will create a tablet that hopefully is hackable to install other flavours of Linux and able to run various games as well. It would be cool to be able to run FreeDoom on this. The Nokia N900 is another mobile device that ran a Linux based operating system and it is good to see Linux making it on the mobile market. The device is powered by a 1 GHz AMLogic ARM Cortex-A9 processor with Mali 400 graphics, this is a little sluggish but the device has 4 Gigabytes of storage, 802.11 b/g Wifi, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The main point here is unlike an Apple product, this device has an unlocked bootloader and an open source operating system installed, meaning you could install some other operating system if you wished. You could even rebuild a different kernel to speed up the device a little bit and maybe code a new window manager that was less demanding, allowing for more speed. This is an incredible idea, the hardware is not the best, but at least this is truly open and we will wait and see what comes of this.
There is a MicroSD card slot allowing you to save files onto the card and use it to move photos and music to and fro from the device. This will be useful if you wanted to expand the storage with another 4GB of cheap storage space. There is now an open-source graphics driver for the Arm Mali graphics chipset used by the Spark Tablet, this will help out anyone wanting to develop for this tablet. Having an open source driver available to compile into the kernel will make it simple to compile a Linux distribution for the Spark tablet from source and develop something new. I just hope they do not install Unity on this tablet. The hardware could not take it. We will wait and see what comes of this promising hardware. The Mer Linux distribution that is running on this tablet device is the open source continuation of the MeeGo Linux operating system. The Plasma Active interface runs on top of that. This is a good victory for the Linux kernel and mobile hardware as well.