The ranks of iPad mini competitors are swelling in number today with Jolla's announcement of its new Tablet, a crowdfunding project aiming to bring the small startup's Sailfish OS to a bigger form factor. Having introduced the original Jolla smartphone a year ago, the small Finnish startup has been hard at work improving its software — counting nine updates, 350 new features, and a staggering 13,000 bugs quashed since launch — and now feels confident enough to add a second device to its portfolio. The proposed Jolla Tablet is built around the same basic spec as Nokia's N1, featuring a 7.9-inch display with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, a quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It's not as thin and lacks the unibody aluminum case, but it's also cheaper and can still run Android apps. Plus, according to Jolla's Marc Dillon, it will offer "the world’s best, state of the art multitasking experience."
"At the moment, it's just a dream, but we want to make it a reality."
Microsoft's Snap view in Windows and Samsung's Multi Window feature on Android devices already offer the ability to run multiple apps side by side, but Jolla's vision is to differentiate by simply being better than all of them. The company sees task switching as the primary thing we do with devices and promises to make it painless with what it describes as "the best multitasking on pretty much any device that's available in the world." Certainly, for iPad users who've been crying out for the option to have just two apps sharing the screen, this will be an appealing proposition — provided it lives up to its own lofty billing.
Turning to Indiegogo to help fund and distribute the Tablet, Jolla has priced its new product at $189 for the first 1,000 backers and $199 for the next 1,000. In total, the company's seeking $380,000 in funding, though it says the goal is to get interested users participating in the development at an early stage. A Jolla Tablet prototype is on show at Slush in Helsinki today and will set the stage for future refinement of the design and software. Should Jolla find an enthusiastic enough response, the first Jolla Tablets will be shipped out to the earliest backers in the second quarter of next year.
Update 6:18AM ET, 19 November 2014: Jolla surpassed its Tablet crowdfunding goal within just a couple of hours. The total pledged now stands at $389,465.