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Summary:

I’ve been waiting for a web-based tablet and it looks like it’s coming soon. But it’s not the Chrome tablet I was expecting. Instead, meet the first slate in the Firefox OS tablet program.

firefox os tablet

I’ve been clamoring for a web-based tablet over the past year and one company is finally going to deliver it. Only it’s not from who I expected: Mozilla has a Firefox OS slate prototype in the works. Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler shared the tablet information on Thursday, where it was picked up by Liliputing.

Based on Dotzler’s post, the first tablet will have relatively meager hardware when compared to today’s high-end tablets. The 10.1-inch IPS display will only have 1280 x 800 resolution, for example. And an older ARM Cortex A7 Quad-Core 1.0GHz chip paired with 2 GB of memory will power the device. Local storage is found in 16 GB of flash memory and the device will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, as well as a GPS for location services. The slate also has a pair of cameras: 2-megapixels in the front and 5-megapixels in the back.

firefox os tablet

While the device may seem relatively underpowered, I see it as a solid reference design for the Mozilla team to demonstrate and mature its Firefox OS platform. And I’d also expect a web-based platform wouldn’t need super-powerful (read: energy hungry) hardware to perform admirably. The Google Chromebooks with ARM-based chips are a good example that adequate performance can be had without a desktop-class chip.

My hope was actually for Google to have created a 2-in-1 Chrome tablet by now: A laptop dock with a removable tablet screen for example. That hasn’t happened yet. While I continue waiting for this, I’ll be keen to get my hands on one of the Firefox OS tablets to see what the experience is like.

  1. As many others have done in the past, Firefox OS for tablets will flop no matter how cheap it is.

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    1. Sadly agree. I bought myself a ZTE running FirefoxOS. Definitely worth its cheap cost. System is not perfect fluid but fluid enough. Still a lot better cost/quality ratio than a Galaxy S2 for example.

      Yet, even HP or Microsoft, with massive amount of cash in advertising didn’t make it. Even BlackBerry while “giving away” their stunning PlayBook for $99 to their real fan base.

      Geeks did the Firefox promotion over IE. Also because FF had a lot more to offer: tabs, stability, privacy, Web standards… Geeks nowadays wants Android, and Firefox OS has nothing to compete. It can barely do 80%, with an Android 1.6 like UI.

      Sad but true.

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  2. Yay for Firefox OS! I have read that Firefox OS uses Google’s Android kernel, so there’s a wee bit of Google in there :

    https :// developer . mozilla . org / en-US / Firefox_OS / Porting

    “Boot to Gecko (Firefox OS) uses a kernel derived from Android, with a Gecko-based user interface on top of it. This article provides a basic guide to how to go about porting the operating system to new devices. …”

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  3. With the raging success /s FirefoxOS is, I can totally see this succeeding …. NOT

    What a time waste. Mozilla and their increasing irrelevance in the native apps/devices world and the desperate attempts to keep web apps relevant.

    Take a hint Mozilla.. web apps are done. They are inferior, you are using Javascript as a language that’s a 1999 scripting language never meant for applications and the integration with hardware APIs of the current and new devices is ridiculously slow because it is always based on the lowest common denominator a browser can support.

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  4. And btw, Google doesn’t care for “web based” tablets. They already beat Firefox and Mozilla by A LARGE margin. They have something called Android that’s taking the world by storm. Nobody gives a crap about web apps.

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  5. Google is going to drop Nexus in a one or two years the same like Google did with Motorola and the Feedburner.

    Google is going to change Android and rename it into ChromeOS.
    This will make Google’s ChromeOS for Netbooks more popular and people are going to use their laptops with ChromeOS, too.
    Of course, Google’s browser Chrome would also get more popular.

    But Firefox is faster. There is already a Firefox browser that is very good both for smartphones and for laptops and FirefoxOS is already there for smartphones and tablets. So the step to offer a version of FirefoxOS for netbooks and laptops is not far.

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