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What about the PengPod tablet?

Everybody seems to be jumping into the tablet business. And why not? Together with smartphones, they are the hottest-selling devices on the planet. And those powered by Android hold top market share.

A relatively new name in the tablet-space is PengPod, made by Peacock Imports, a Florida, US-based outfit. The PengPod tablet runs Linux on ARM/Allwinner SoC hardware.

So instead of just running a pure Android tablet, you get the option to run your favorite Linux distribution and Android in dual-boot fashion, provided your Linux distribution has an edition for the hardware.

There are currently three models of the PengPod – PengPod700 (7-inch screen), PengPod1000 (10-inch screen), and PengPod Stick (USB device).

The common specs for a PengPod are:

  • Allwinner A10 processor
  • Support for Linux and Android in dual-boot fashion on SD card
  • HDMI port
  • 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage
  • USB, OTG-WiFi
  • Front Camera (1.3M for PengPod700 and 0.3M for the PengPod1000)
  • Speakers

Compared to high-end Android tablets, a PengPod is nothing to rave about, but a device of this sort that makes it possible to dual-boot my favorite Linux distribution gets on my buying list. That the price is around $120:00 USD makes it even better.
PengPod Linux Android tablet

The PengPod is made possible by crowd-funding. More about the devices here.

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14 Comments

  1. BigDaveF150 says:

    I just ordered mine, a Pengpod 1000 with the keyboard / case. I already have a Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard I may end up using though. If this device lives up to half of its promises, I will be happy. Simply put I wanted something small, light, easy to use, and good enough to do basic media consumption, blogging, and remote UNIX administration while I was mobile. Laptops are too big, bulky and expensive. This device, if it works halfway decent, should more than fit the bill… The specs are okay, although I would have much rather had a multi core processor, but for the price tag, I can’t complain…

  2. DaVince says:

    As proud owner own a Pengpod 1000, let me make a really quick rundown on my experiences with it:

    – The Stock Android 4.0 is nice, but it sometimes makes you wait for half a minute or more.
    – The Ubuntu-based Linaro works great, except when you start using any web browser (freakin’ slow).
    – Games and videos generally work great.
    – There’s some minor issues with video acceleration in combination with screen rotation.
    – I LOVE the special keyboard thing they sell alongside it. Though it’s difficult to keep standing up on your lap.

    All in all, good for the price. Some minor issues. Did not regret my purchase.

  3. Nelson Munz says:

    Im not really a tablet person (ive babysat some while friends were away on vacation) but for a bit more than a 100$, I wouldnt mind a Linux tablet that I can use while kids are at practices instead of the Linux running netbook ive carried for 4-5years.
    email, youtube and being able to watch mp4 of tv shows…

    I dont need a tablet which is why Im not going to spend 400-500$ on one (rather get youngest a laptop) but at that price, its very tempting.

    The comments have really picked up my interest.

  4. Fred says:

    Hello!

    I have one of the Pengpod 1000 models! (According to the forum the Pengpad name was already taken).

    I also have the case with the built in keyboard (very nice especially in Linux).

    I have Android on the internal 8 GB flash and Linux (Linaro) on a 32 GB SD card.

    The Android is a plain vanilla 4.04 install but it is Rooted from the start so you have many options in addition to the standard apps.

    The installed linux (Linaro) is linked to the Ubuntu repositories so you have many options for software (You can use apt-get or the Synaptic Package Manager). I installed the Libre Office suite as well as R for statistics and both have worked well. I also installed a few card games and they work well with the touch screen!

    One must that does not come installed is the Easystroke Gesture Recognition program (this lets you set up screen sweeps etc…).

    So far it has worked great and I have had only minor issues that have been easy to solve. There is a Forum on the Pengpod site where you can get help from the community.

  5. Johnnyb says:

    Thanks, Gurdonark…as a potential buyer, I’d love to hear more such reviews by actual Pengpod users…and maybe someone can explain why they aren’t called Pengpads…

  6. Eddie G. says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting getting one of these for myself! I’m tired of people talking about the MS RT or the iPad!….Time for a CHANGE! LoL!

  7. Edmund Slackbladder says:

    The shipping costs to the UK put me off, though I would love to try one.
    What is the screen resolution?
    Are they available or going to be this year in europe?

  8. Onan the Barbarian says:

    Which kind of processor is the A10? Does Debian run on it?

  9. gurdonark says:

    I like my Pengpod. I’ve been favorably impressed that that the Allwinner A10 processor works as well as it does. The tablet lets me do all my favorite media consumption tasks with ease. The keyboard case is, for me, an essential, particularly on the Linux side.

    Thus far, I’ve used the Android boot more than the Linux boot I must download the things I like on the Linux side to get more out of the Linux side, though it’s the Linux side of the dual boot that is why I bought this.

    To me, the future of tablets is here–low cost, easy-to-use “good enough” tablets, rather than the higher end of the tablet range.

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