PengPod, a low-quantity Linux tablet vendor, released the PengPod 1040 tablet today that they claim will "transform the PC and Tablet world by merging both elegantly together to fit any lifestyle." But will it really pan out?
The company claims their latest tablet will transform the PC and tablet worlds since it can effectively dual-boot between Android and Linaro/Ubuntu on ARM. This way, you can enjoy Android apps and then reboot and gain access to your normal Ubuntu (desktop-focused) apps -- not too different from Canonical's failed Ubuntu Edge
campaign with a smart-phone dual-booting Ubuntu and Android.
PengPod also advertises a great feature of the tablet: a 2046 x 1536 tablet. When reading the high resolution of the tablet display in the company's press release, my interest was piqued, but when digging deeper I was disappointed. The 2406 x 1536 resolution is on a 9.7-inch display, but more depressing is the ARM SoC. The PengPod 1040 is to be powered by an Allwinner A31, which has a quad-core processor but is only of Cortex-A7. Had it been a quad-core A-15 SoC the performance potential would be a lot more interesting and it would open up for decent performance in carrying out desktop-focused tasks; even a dual-core Cortex-A15 delivers stunning performance over a quad-core Cortex-A9, while a quad Cortex-A7 is likely to be left in the dust.
Allwinner is a popular SoC vendor that's very common to cheap Chinese tablets and they can be somewhat friendly in their Linux support and the community that's built up around it. The graphics on their A31 SoC are also just a the PowerVR SGX544MP2 from Imagination. Other hardware specs include 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage while having a micro SDHC slot.
At the end of the day, the hardware specs on this tablet aren't anything exciting and the "transform the PC and Tablet world" comes down to just advertising Android and Linaro/Ubuntu dual-boot support. I had hoped at least for some exciting hardware, but it even lost there in making me interested in the PengPod 1040. Making matters worse, this Cortex-A7 tablet isn't even something that's available today but is contingent on a $349,000 USD IndieGoGo campaign to crowd-source the effort. If pledging at least $249 USD, you can own this quad-core dual-booting Allwinner-powered tablet. Should you be interested, visit PengPod.com