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The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu tablet’s big feature is one that trumps Microsoft’s Continuum

The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is the first tablet to feature Canonical’s converged computing experience, and it has been officially announced slightly ahead of the rumored schedule. We were expecting the tablet to come during Mobile World Congress, but instead manufacturer BQ has confirmed it’ll be on sale before the summer.

BQ’s Aquaris M10 tablet comes with the latest version of Ubuntu software installed, and provides a best-of-both-worlds experience, in that it’ll act like a mobile device when you want it to, then change up to a more capable PC experience when it’s time for work or more intensive tasks. Ubuntu says this is unique to its software, and tells us that when you plug the tablet into a monitor, it’s a proper PC experience, not a slightly expanded mobile one. A dig at Microsoft’s similar Continuum software seen on its Windows 10 smartphones.

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The mobile side is taken care of using Scopes, the control method seen on Ubuntu’s smartphones. We tried it out on the Meizu MX4 and found it to be an interesting alternative to traditional home screens or pages full of apps. It’s replicated on the Aquaris M10, and comes wit a new split-screen feature called Side Stage. Alternatively, connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to the tablet, link it to a monitor, and you get the full Ubuntu PC system.

Even without the monitor, the 10.1-inch tablet will show both versions of the OS, and apps will adapt according to screen size or control method, just like a responsive website. Apps are downloaded from Ubuntu’s app store. The tablet’s screen has a 1080p resolution, a MediaTek quad-core processor provides the power, and a large 7280mAh battery takes care of the energy. There’s 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage space, a MicroSD card slot, and an 8-megapixel rear camera too.

BQ, a European hardware manufacturer that has produced Ubuntu-powered smartphones already, hasn’t announced the price for the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition, but it will be sold globally through Ubuntu’s own website. We’ll update here when more details emerge.