New $200 tablet?

Thomas Gstädtner thomas at
Mon Jan 30 18:52:19 CET 2012

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 17:53, Al Johnson <openmoko at> wrote:
> On Monday 30 January 2012 15:42:14 Patryk Benderz wrote:
>> [cut]
>> > This look very interesting. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.
>> It is written 200 EURO, not dollars ($). Makes a difference.
> No mention of tax either. It's certainly interesting, especially in light of
> the Lima driver project for the ARM Mali, but we need more details. It looks
> rather like the ZT280-C71 which is usually somewhat cheaper, but whose
> manufacturer doesn't seem to have released kernel source.

You are right.

It should be noted that this is by no means any new hardware developed
for KDE specifically.
This hardware is already widely available for some time, in dozens (if
not far more) of variants.
I found similar hardware starting at about EUR 70 and the exact same
hardware starting at about EUR 100.
In Europe it seems to be most commonly sold as "Zenithink C71" which
is optically and hardware-wise fully identical to the "Spark", in
China I found it at least under 20 other names with the same hardware,
and much more with slightly different specs.
Many of them are intentionally sold as cheap i$random_apple_product clones.

I haven't found out which company actually builds the device, though
I'm pretty sure it's none of those found in the product names. All of
those are likely based on AMLogic's reference board designs, and there
is NO LINUX UPSTREAM support for either the SoC or the board.
Also, there is NO SOURCE CODE available publicly (maybe with the
exception of one github repository which seems to have at least some
code) which means that all companies currently selling this device are
violating the GPL.

There are also no proper spec sheets, datasheets, or code references in any way.

It is to hope, that the KDE guys are interested enough to have
everything properly open sourced to be GPL compliant, though I fear
they - like most open source projects - don't have the pull on Chinese
hardware OEMs to change a horrible situation to a good situation.

Anyway - in my opinion so far this is a lot of fuzz about hardly anything.

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