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Two Weeks with the Aquaris M10 FHD Ubuntu Edition Tablet (An Honest Review)

It has been about two weeks since I started using the Aquaris M10 FHD Ubuntu version tablet. First of all I have to say that the tablet is not COMPLETE yet. It is not for people who expects similar experience like with  an Android tablet or with an iPad.

indoor with the front camera
I started writing this blog entry with M10 tablet. But It was not easy since the operating system had a big list of bugs including external keyboard support for layouts other than English. As far as I could see from the related forums and blogs people are having problem even with German, Spanish and Portuguese layouts. I  also had  problem with my wireless Turkish keyboard. Today an Ubuntu update came to device. Now the layout is working I can write @ symbol from time to time now (I wasn't able to write @ symbol using my external Turkish keyboard  with Turkish Layout). 

indoor with the back camera
I am a Linux fan. I've been using linux for more than 14 years now. Since canonical first started announcing the convergent OS concept I've been long waiting for this device and at last now it was on market. As a nerd, I found a way to buy and bring it from Germany to Turkey. This was a gamble. The device was the first of its kind and hence there was no information about it. I have now been using it for about two weeks and I want to share my experience with whom may concern to buy one. ( I am definitely not aiming prevent you to buy one but the idea is yours.)
outdoor with the front camera

If you read recently published M10 related blog entries you will soon find out that this device is not ready yet. I don't know why but the device  should be a give-away beta model. But BQ just decided to sell and ship it as is anyway. I was waiting for it to have a closed environment and was aware of the fact that the operating system would not be 100% Linux. But I wasn't expecting something this much buggy and EMPTY.

The idea of a "convergent tablet" is a game changer thing, but M10 is not it yet. The desktop and tablet mode have nearly no difference at all. The desktop mode is not the ubuntu desktop (if you're familiar with it and used it before). It is most probably due to the limited hardware but I was expecting an obvious conversion from tablet to desktop mode.

The tablet has a good display. But there is nothing you can do with this gorgeous display. There is not a video player such as VLC in the store and hence you can not watch most conventional video formats. I am also a Netflix user and I wasn't expecting a native Netflix application in Ubuntu Store. But I can not watch Netflix by using a web browser since I can not install necessary plugins. The system comes with a native media player but I couldn't play .MKV format and view subtitles. It was lagging while playing .MP4 file. There is a codec problem I guess. 
outdoor with the back camera

The store has a short list of useful applications. But they don't give enough reason to buy this tablet yet. Moreover some of the applications like eBay app already deprecated and not usable.

The biggest disappointment was when I tried to connect my apple mouse and keyboard.  The bluetooth keyboard is working but it is lagging so much. It is not possible to use the tablet with the apple bluetooth mouse since it crashes down the system. So it looks like it is not possible to dedicate the usb port for other uses other than keyboard and mouse while using it in desktop mode since the bluetooth support is not ready yet . 

Some programs run on X and others run on Mir, there are also application specific problems. For example it is not possible to use Firefox without a keyboard and mouse in tablet mode. After the latest update it is still the same. On the contrary the terminal application is not working with external keyboard sometimes.

If you are not planning use this device as a camera the tablet has OK front and back cameras. The front camera is of course a bit grainy as expected. Here you can see indoor and outdoor takes with both cameras.

The graphic design on the package has a good taste. I wlll most probably try to keep it. If I had a chance to buy the tablet at pre-order time, they were sending it with the original duo case. It is good to have one because the tablets casing is not as sturdy as an iPad. My 4 year old kid has dropped the iPad dozen of times and there are only some scratches at the edges and the device is still working flawlessly. But I think Aquaris M10 tablet is not proper for kids since it is more fragile and the casing does not look to  withstand a fall.

the original package. The tablet comes with its original AC2DC adapter

It would be a nicer  move if Canonical had first populated the store with widely used necessary programs before selling this device. The update came today is a good effort to get rid of some bugs but the operating system has a long way to go before being announced as ready. Still as a geek, this tablet is a good experience for me. It reminds me of good old linux days when we were spending hours to connect an ordinary peripheral device 😃 ...

this my setup I use with the device. Wireless mouse - keyboard set is usable but the bluetooth mouse support has some flaws


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