Purism Librem 11 Gives You Full Desktop Linux in a Tablet

Key Takeaways

  • Tablets with desktop operating systems are rare, but the new Linux-based Librem 11 tablet offers a unique alternative for those seeking something different.
  • The tablet has specifications typically found in low-end desktop PCs, including a quad-core Intel Celeron CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
  • Despite its cool features and open software, the tablet’s steep $999 price may deter some buyers, especially when compared to other mainstream tablets on the market.

Tablets with “desktop” operating systems aren’t too common these days, outside the occasional Microsoft Surface. There are 2-in-1 laptops which can be used like tablets, which has all but eliminated the need of cramming desktop operating systems into a tablet-only form factor. Most tablets either are iPads or run Android, and come equipped with ARM-based chipsets just like smartphones. If you want something a little different, however, this Linux tablet might fit the bill.

Purism has just launched the new Librem 11 tablet. As you might be able to guess by the name, it’s an 11-inch tablet, but it’s nothing like what you would get from Samsung or Apple. Instead, this one is running Linux. More specifically, it’s running the Debian-based PureOS out of the box. The tablet itself has specifications that you would normally see on a low-end desktop PC, such as a quad-core Intel Celeron N5100 CPU, integrated Intel graphics, 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 1TB of NVMe storage.

As far as connectivity, you have a pair of USB-C 3.1 ports as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD card slot. Wireless needs are handled by the Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 module and an Intel 9460 Bluetooth 5 module. And the tablet itself even gets a rear camera for quick snapping needs, although at 5MP, it isn’t exactly a photography powerhouse. The tablet is also bundled with a keyboard and even a stylus, which is not something you can say for iPads or Microsoft Surface tablets.

It’s definitely a cool product, although the fact that it basically has the specs of an ultra-cheap netbook isn’t particularly exciting. A PC with these specs would usually come with 4GB of RAM rather than 8GB, so it does have at least one advantage going for it, beyond the more open software. The fact that it runs Linux means that you should technically be able to squeeze better performance out of this than from a Windows PC.

The only problem with it, however, is the price. The $999 asking price is pretty steep, especially compared any regular iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet, but your options are more limited for tablets that ship with Linux —the PineTab 2 is cheaper, but its ARM and RISC processors have more limited software compatibility. If you still want it, though, then it’s available for purchase on Purism’s website.

Via: OMG! Linux!

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