Jolla Oy, a company set up by former Nokia staffers in 2011, has turned to crowd-funding to produce a tablet running its flagship Sailfish OS - and has sailed past its goal in the first 24 hours.
Created from the ashes of Nokia's MeeGo, formerly Maemo, team, which created a Linux-based operating system for the company's internet tablet and early smartphone line that was abandoned in favour of a modified Symbian and later Microsoft's Windows Phone, Jolla's key product is Sailfish, a gesture-controlled Linux-based operating system originally targeted at smartphones. Like MeeGo, Sailfish's user interface is based on the open Qt, QML and HTML5 technologies, and last year the company announced that it had added the ability to install and run 'most' Android applications natively - giving it access to a far wider software ecosystem than most newcomer platforms enjoy.
Having launched its first hardware product, the Jolla Phone with its innovative 'The Other Half' modular casing technology, last year, the company is back with a new design: a sub-8" tablet. Based around the latest Sailfish OS 2.0 software, the tablet packs an unnamed 64-bit quad-core Intel processor running at 1.8GHz, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage expandable via micro-SD. Its screen boasts a 2,048x1,536 resolution on a 7.85" diagonal for a pixel density of 330ppi - higher than Apple's iPad Mini 3, which uses the same resolution in a slightly bigger 7.9" form factor - and uses in-plane switching (IPS) technology. A five megapixel camera sits at the rear and a two megapixel unit at the front, and the overall package weighs 384g.
While Jolla has been keen to compare its design favourably to the competition, not everything stacks up. Its battery is rated at 4,300mAh, considerably lower than the 6,471mAh of the iPad Mini 3 or 5,300mAh of Nokia's just-announced N1 Android device. With the hardware not due to launch until May 2015, its specifications may also feel a little dated by the time it reaches backers' hands.
Despite these concerns, the low-cost tablet has been selling incredibly well. The Indiegogo campaign
sought $380,000 and broke that barrier in its first 24 hours. Its current total sits at a whopping $918,222 with 20 days still to go, with the cheapest 'early bird' tiers sold out. The Jolla Tablet can currently be backed for $229 shipped, which will rise to $269 at retail - still considerably cheaper than the competition.