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.
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.