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Lightweight 'Kite' tablet runs Ubuntu 12.04 and Android 4.0

Now available for preorder, this device offers a definition that's 10 percent higher than the standard Full-HD, its maker says.

There's no shortage of Android tablets in the marketplace today, but devices that run Ubuntu Linux are still much harder to come by.

Canonical's own mobile plans are still a work in progress, of course, but on Monday an intriguing new contender popped up on Notebook Italia and then Engadget.

Specifically, the new "Nibbio," or "Kite," Full-HD tablet from Italian DaVinci Mobile Technology will dual-boot Ubuntu and Android and is due to begin shipping next month.

Just 19 ounces

Featuring a 10.1-inch IPS capacitive multitouch display with 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution and 16 million colors, the Kite Full-HD runs on a Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core 1.4 GHz processor and includes Mali-400MP graphics.

WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 are both supported on the 258.3-by-164-by-9.5-mm device, which comes with 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 32 GB of internal storage.

Weighing just 539 grams, or about 19 oz., the Kite sports front and rear cameras, GPS, and gyroscope, and it supports USB keyboard and mouse. Linux-based Android 4.0 and Ubuntu Linux 12.04 are the operating systems supported.

Two app sources

With its 16:10 aspect ratio, the Kite delivers a definition that's 10 percent higher than that of the standard Full-HD, DaVinci says.

Its dual operating systems, meanwhile, will offer access to more than 700,000 apps through Google Play and more than one million for Linux through the Ubuntu Software Center.

Pricing is 309 euros, or about $410, including a three-year warranty. Availability in Italy is apparently planned for the middle of next month; whether it will come to other parts of the world isn't yet clear. In the meantime, preorders are now being accepted on the DaVinci site.

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