It may not be quite as pretty or compact as the iPad, but open source hardware company Liquidware is selling kits for a $400 build-it-yourself tablet utilizing the Texas Instruments single-board computer BeagleBoard. It all snaps together with relative ease, and the end result, while decidedly Frankensteinian, is sure to turn more heads than Johnny iPad down the street.
To be fair, though, this isn’t exactly targeted at the average consumer – instead, Liquidware hopes to entice the hacker-tinkerer-developer crowd. Says Liquidware’s Justin Huynh: “With the iPad, you would have a hard time hacking it to read from a specialized sensor such as a temperature sensor or add your own custom hardware. The Beagle tablet is all about innovation.” Well thank goodness, it’s about time a tablet developer was thinking forward.
At any rate, this thing’s got a 1Ghz processor, SDHC for space, runs on Angstrom Linux or Android, and has a 3-hour battery life, assuming you’re running a really fancy-pants app.
While you could get the unquestionably-sexier iPad for a few hundred dollars more, honestly, I kinda like the form factor of this thing. You know how pugs are so ugly they’re cute again? This is like that. Yeah. Beagle, my eye.