Meet the Spark, an open-source tablet that will cost $260 and run Linux

KDE Linux Spark TabletAre you ready for yet another tablet release? Well, this time it’s a little bit different to the slew of Android slates we’ve become used to, as it runs an open source Linux operating system, making it perfect for developers and users who don’t want to deal with any proprietary software at all.

Announced by leading KDE hacker Aaron Seigo on his blog, it’s called the Spark, and it uses the community-driven spin-off of MeeGo called Mer as its OS, with KDE’s cool Plasma Active user interface over the top.

So why would you choose this over an Android device or the Kindle Fire? It’s obviously not for everyone, but if you want an open device loaded with free software, that’s yours to do whatever you like with, then it’s likely to be exactly what you’re after. The Spark’s bootloader isn’t locked, so you’re free to install any alternative operating system and any apps too.

The specification isn’t the highest you’ll see though, with the tablet boasting a 7-inch screen, a 1Ghz ARM processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and a Mali-400 GPU. It’s speculated that the Spark is a rebranded Zenithink slate, which if true would mean the screen resolution is a mere 800 x 400.

But as it’s set to retail for 200 euros, which converts to about $260, it’s a bargain for anyone who want to run Linux natively rather than just another build of Android. There will even be an application store with apps and eBooks, plus as Seigo himself points out, individual stores can be built for it, making it potentially useful for educational and business environments.

More information on when the Spark will be released, and where will go on sale, will be coming soon.