Jolla Tablet fires on competitors with impressive specs, open source OS

Jolla, a company founded by former senior Nokia team members, has made a splash in the smartphone market with its user-focused Jolla Smartphone powered by their proprietary Sailfish OS. The company constantly harps on about the effect user input has on the finished product and this, along with the phone’s Other Half functionality, resonated deeply with users. Now, they’re back at it again and looking for some of that same magic with their Jolla Tablet.

The Jolla Tablet is outfitted with a 7.85″ IPS screen boasting 330 ppi, a quad-core Intel chip, 2GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera, a 4300mAh battery, and 32GB of storage with expandable microSD memory. However, the Jolla is more than just the sum of its parts. While the tablet does sport specs comparable to leading tablets, its Sailfish OS differentiates itself with gesture controls and full multitasking capabilities unlike those from competing brands, letting users easily control native Android apps or those from the Sailfish OS app store. Jolla’s open source nature and desire to make their products better using suggestions solicited from their users reinforce their people-centric belief and is a far cry from the lockdown-like policies in effect at other companies in the field. The Jolla Tablet clocks in at $209 and is expected to be delivered by May 2015. The campaign goal sits at a lofty $380,000.

The Jolla Tablet is a pretty piece of tablet that can stand up to the giants in the field. Giving exactly what consumers want can never be bad business, so barring poor exposure or lackluster tablet performance, Jolla should be able to sway some over to their ship. Novena is similar in that it gives users the option to create something personal with high-end specs, but with a laptop instead. High power, customized hardware gave the Jolla Smartphone a bit of mindshare, so their tablet should experience similar success.

Cell Phone Accessories Input

TOHKB offers an attachable keyboard for Jolla phones

The Jolla is a small open-source smartphone that uses the Sailfish OS, capable of running Android apps from a variety of app stores. Jolla’s modularity, both hardware and software-wise, is its biggest selling point, similar to how Google’s Project Ara is tackling the idea of smartphones that evolve over time. The Other Half is Jolla’s proprietary platform that allows for this modularity, and will eventually work to add and customize its hardware functionality. For now, though, it exists to give users the choice of backplate colors. With the most ambitious Other Half so far being an Angry Birds-themed one that offers a paint job and some custom sounds, the fervent user base has clamoring for more utility. That’s where the the Other Half Keyboard comes into play.

The Other Half Keyboard, or TOHKB for short, is a durable Other Half attachment for the Jolla that allows you to attach a fully customizable, LED-backlit keyboard. Users have the choice to leave the keyboard on or attach it at their own convenience. Either way, the keyboard can slide out in either direction, so users won’t have to worry about the phone’s orientation during use. The keyboard is spacious and tactile, and claims to offer a superior typing experience without the crowdedness of other keyboards, and users have the option of ordering a blank versions of the keyboard to engrave with a laser printer. TOHKB gives a lot of limelight to hotkey support as well, offering fully customizable hotkeys to improve interaction speed with the smartphone.

As promising as TOHKB looks, battery life is a smartphone user’s ultimate concern, and an Other Half for battery life might have more legs than a keyboard that isn’t strictly necessary. In any case, the campaign is looking for €55,000 (~$68,100) and at this point, each keyboard is going for €130 (~$160). Backers can expect theirs in April of 2015.