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Customizable Linux tablet features 10.1-inch multitouch display

Aug 30, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Japanese reseller Redstar has begun taking pre-orders for an ARM11-based 10.1-inch tablet computer from RealEase that runs the new Shogo Linux distro. The Shogo Tablet runs on a 533MHz Freescale i.MX37 system-on-chip (SoC) with 256MB RAM and 4GB flash, and offers a 1024 × 600 capacitive display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, plus 3G and Zigbee options, says RealEase.

RealEase briefly announced the Shogo Tablet and Shogo Linux operating system back in April, and began shipping the tablet earlier this month directly to OEMs for $500, with discounts for larger quantities. Now, Japan-based Redstar is taking pre-orders for the Shogo Tablet for 56,800 Yen (about $673), according to AkihabaraNews.


Shogo Tablet

Aside from its rather modest ARM11 processor, the device appears to stack up well against other high-end tablets, especially among non-Android Linux models. While Redstar launches retail sales for the device, RealEase appears to be offering the tablet primarily to OEM firms.

The company says it will work with third parties to develop customized versions of the tablet with different screen sizes and specifications, including removing features or expanding features, such as boosting internal NAND flash up to 64GB. Meanwhile, a higher-end version based on Freescale's 1GHz, Cortex-A8-based i.MX51 SoC is due later this year, says RealEase.


Shogo Linux home screen (left) and Webkit browser with virtual keyboard (right)

(Click on either to enlarge)

Third parties can also customize the tablet with the new Shogo Linux distribution. Based on a Linux 2.6.28 kernel, Shogo Linux also adopts the frequently paired Angstrom Linux and OpenEmbedded build system, says RealEase.

Shogo Linux stands out with its Webkit browser, offering HTML5 support now, with Adobe Flash 10 promised in the fourth quarter. The release also provides Nokia's Qt 4.6.3 development framework, the SQLite database, and a multimedia player, says RealEase.

The current version of the Shogo Tablet uses Freescale's i.MX37 SoC, which offers an ARM 1136JF-S core clocked to 533MHz. The SoC provides an image processing unit and video decoding features aimed at portable media players (PMPs), and can run on as little as one Volt, says Freescale.


Shogo Tablet detail

(Click to enlarge)

The i.MX37 is backed up with a rather modest supply of 256MB RAM, but also with 4GB of internal NAND flash. An SDHC slot is provided for expansion, along with a USB 2.0 port and two internal USB 2.0 ports, says RealEase.

The Shogo Tablet's 10.1-inch screen offers 1024 x 600 resolution, as well as multitouch capacitive technology, says the company. Other standard features are said to include a 10/100 Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.0, and 802.11b/g, with an 802.11n option available later this year. Optional wireless features are said to include 3G cellular and ZigBee radios, both available via internal USB dongles.

GPS is not available, suggesting that the big-screen Shogo is designed primarily for use around the house. The tablet weighs 1.76 pounds (800 grams) and measures 10.55 x 6.61 x 0.63 inches (268 x 168 x 16mm), says RealEase.

Shogo Linux on the as an e-reader

The Shogo Tablet provides a modest two-megapixel camera, as well as accelerometers, and light and motion sensors, says the company. Additional features are said to include speakers, dual microphones, an audio in port, and audio/video pout ports.

The device ships with a three-hour battery, but as noted, it may be purchased with an optional battery that lasts up to eight hours, according to RealEase. Other features include a foldable foot and VESA mounting, says the company.

The problem with offering Linux, as opposed to Android, is the lack of applications available for the device. The company does not offer a detailed list of available software, but in addition to the browser, mentions e-reading capabilities. The Qt support, at least, points to easier porting of existing apps than might otherwise be possible.

Availability

The Shogo Tablet is available for pre-order via Redstar at around 56,800 Yen (about $673), at Redstar's Japanese language site, here. A final ship date does not appear to be listed.

RealEase, meanwhile, is offering the tablet to OEMs for $500 plus shipping from Hong Kong, with discounts available for quantity purchases. More information on the tablet may be found at RealEase's English language site, here.

The AkihabaraNews story may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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