Meet the PengPod, a 'true Linux' tablet that starts at $120

Now in the midst of a crowdfunding effort, this new line will include two tablet models as well as a mini PC.

The tablet arena already includes countless contenders featuring Linux-based Android, but a company currently seeking funding on Indiegogo aims to produce a new line of what it calls "true Linux" devices.

We've already seen Linux-powered tablets including the Vivaldi and the rugged Trimble Yuma, of course, but the new PengPod line from Peacock Imports includes both 7- and 10-inch tablet models as well as a mini PC, all running the free and open source operating system.

"Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price," the company explains.

"If you're a Linux fanatic you probably ended up getting an Android phone. Hey, it's Linux right? It'll be open, run all the programs I'm familiar with and let me hack around and have some fun, right?" it adds. "Too often, this is not so. That is why we set out to find a way to run real Linux and all the software you really want."

A dual-booting option

All three devices in the PengPod line feature the Allwinner A10 system on a chip and come with the user's choice of Linux or Android 4.0.

The $85 PengStick, for instance, is a 3.5-inch mini PC much like the MK802 that comes with 1GB of RAM, 4GB flash storage, and WiFi. The diminutive device includes a power supply, a USB OTG adapter, and a mini HDMI-to-HDMI cable, and can run Linux from an SD card. For $5 more, you can have Linux installed on the on-board flash; an extra $8 gets you an 8GB Linux SD card for dual booting.

The PengPod700, meanwhile, is a 7-inch tablet featuring Android on flash and a bootable Linux SD card as well as a capacitive touch screen, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, speakers, and a front-facing camera. A $99 early-bird offer has already expired, so the device is now priced at $120.

Last but not least, the 10-inch PengPod1000 tablet is priced at $185. Preorders are now being accepted on Indiegogo. Estimated delivery on all three devices is January 2013. The video above offers a glimpse of the devices in action.

The Linux-powered revolution

Of course, only time will tell whether the company's $49,000 funding goal is met by its Dec. 2 deadline -- as of this writing, it's reached just $16,414 -- allowing production to begin.

Still, the prospect is a compelling one, and it fits right in with the Linux-powered revolution that's been going on. If you're a fan of Linux in particular or low-cost devices in general, you may want to check out this new option.

This story, "Meet the PengPod, a 'true Linux' tablet that starts at $120" was originally published by PCWorld.

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