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Many open android tablet devices

Many open android tablet devices

Posted Oct 21, 2010 1:16 UTC (Thu) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
Parent article: How not to recognize free hardware

I agree, neither manufacturers nor sellers are doing a good job of highlighting some very open devices.

I have just had the experience of purchasing two cheap android tablets ($100 & $200), which are indeed likely open by most of the criteria which you highlight as being relevant. But this was very hard for me to figure out. The manufacturers for most of these devices do not even have a US presence, so it is hard to get any info form them (Chinese web sites in Chinese). The sellers don't seem to understand this value either and do not highlight it. The only way to figure it out is to correctly identify the device (which can be very hard in itself with all the lookalike models), and to find the right forum for the device, likely on slatedroid or the XDA forums. On these forums, you will need to spend hours reading many posts about the device to eventually conclude that perhaps, the device is indeed open (surprisingly most of them are).


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Many open android tablet devices

Posted Oct 21, 2010 19:21 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

As you say, the documentation of what ones are open is hard to find. so can you say what ones you found?

Many open android tablet devices

Posted Oct 21, 2010 19:41 UTC (Thu) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455) [Link]

The new ZT-180 based 10" tablets are open, including a linux based USB loader which someone released last Friday (I successfully flashed mine with it). The 7" inch (VIA8508 and WM8505) ones I think are all open, I think the Rockchip ones are also. Many of these are considered Eken M00x clones or mine is a FlyTouch clone I believe. They load via a uboot script folder placed on the sdcard. Do fact check yourself before ordering. :)

There really isn't a lot of hardware on the devices to struggle with device support problems. Most of them use an RT2070 or 3070 wifi USB dongle, linux kernel support. I think they all meet the "Open Device Level 0" criteria in my other post, and most meet the Freedom 1.1 criteria of Level 1 also. I have no idea if they meet Freedom 1.2, they might. No modem -> no modem processors, perhaps thers is firmware on the wifi? Feel free to email me via slatedroid if you need more specifics (same username w/ caps). Boy do I wish LWN supported user emailing!

Many open android tablet devices

Posted Nov 10, 2010 1:21 UTC (Wed) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455) [Link]

I believe I may have overstated the openness of these devices. What seemed to me at first as evidence of the code being available for them (alternate ROMs), was really just evidence of the devices not being locked down. However, it turns out that for some (most?), the source is not actually available. It is a strange situation, the manufacturers seem to still be releasing new ROMs with bugfixes, but they are not releasing the code. What a shame, I cannot see what they gain from this. Many on these forums would enhance the code and make the devices more valuable if they did.


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