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Ubuntu 10.10-Powered Tablet in the Works

Giz-China has acquired screenshots of an upcoming Ubuntu Netbook 10.10-powered, 10-inch tablet from an unspecified manufacturer. Aside from a few hardware specs, the details surrounding the mystery tablet are rather slim, providing no indication of a targeted release window or cost. That said, the device may get a formal showing next month at CES 2011 if it's actually legit.

The leaked images follow previous reports earlier this year that Canonical, the company behind Linux OS Ubuntu, was working on a lightweight, tablet-friendly version based on Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat). Chris Kenyon, Canonical's vice president of OEM services, said the OS would offer a simplified user interface (Unity) that provided quick access to the most-used applications. There would also be on-screen keyboard features and compatibility for multitouch drivers.

Reports also indicated earlier this year that the tablet OS would be merged with the netbook OS under the "Ubuntu Light" label. Currently Canonical already offers a version of Ubuntu Light, however it's listed as a quick-boot companion to Windows and as a lightweight OS for netbooks and PCs-- Dell just shipped the Inspiron M101z netbook earlier this month sporting the Ubuntu Light OS alongside Windows 7 Home Premium.

"It's perfect as a companion to Windows for a fast web experience or as a standalone operating system for use in mobile or embedded devices," the description reads. "Typical startup times are seven seconds on a device with a solid state disk drive (SSD). Boot times can extend up to 20 seconds on hard disk drive (HDD) machines."

The mystery tablet currently shown in the latest batch of images supposedly sport an Intel Atom 1.6 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SSD. Kenyon previously stated that tablets with the Ubuntu OS would become available in late Q1 2011. If that still holds true, there's a good chance we'll see Ubuntu-powered device at CES 2011 next month followed by a retail release before April.