The 2-in-1 tablet/PC has had some trouble finding its niche as both the mobile and PC markets continue to shift. While the convergence of the two markets might seem obvious or natural, the two realms of technology might be too different to find a comfortable middle ground.
Then again, software company Canonical has been working on a very special software suite called Convergence. This software is designed to work on a Ubuntu-based tablet that has been described as the world’s very first converged Ubuntu device. So the name is quite fitting.
The new 10-inch device, though, is known as the Aquaris 10 Ubuntu Edition and is the brain child of Canonical and its hardware partner BQ.
The device focuses on offering a mobile interface when used as a touchscreen tablet whose software and interface then converts to a desktop when connected with a keyboard and mouse.
“This isn’t a phone interface stretched to desktop size — it’s the right user experience and interaction model for the given situation,” explains Canonical’s Jane Silber. “Also, in terms of applications, we have something no other OS can provide: a single, visual framework and set of tools for applications to run on any type of Ubuntu smart device.”
And in a time when consumers must choose between the oncoming deluge of Windows 10 devices (including phones, tablets, hybrids, and PCs), Apple’s streamlined devices, and Android-based phones, tablets, and PCs, an Ubuntu device like this might settle into a happy medium.
Silber continues, “The fact that it’s a tablet isn’t the most interesting thing about this,” noting that instead, the most compelling feature maybe be the tablet’s extensive abilities, which provide a common platform which is more adaptable and is “responsive to the situation you’re using it in — whether it’s content consumption or content creation, you want a different experience. You want to use it in a different way.”
She goes on to describe that when you connect a bluetooth mouse and keyboard to the device, the user interface will automatically switch to a more familiar desktop environment designed to respond to mouse control (rather than touch control).
Silber also advises “Competitors are moving in the same direction, which I think offers some validation of this vision that we have been laying out for several years.”
Time will, of course, whether the market will bear another dog in this fight.