Last summer I checked out the intriguing Jolla smartphone. It isn't a great piece of hardware, but the Sailfish operating system is really interesting because it’s entirely gesture-based. I was expecting to have the same opinion of the recently-announced Jolla Tablet, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is actually a nice piece of hardware, and I got to spend some time with it on the show floor at MWC 2015 in Barcelona.
Starting with its construction, the Jolla Tablet has an aluminum back plate that looks and feels fantastic, and it's covered by glass on the front. It’s only 8.3mm thick and weighs just 384 grams — that’s only 50 grams more than an iPad mini 3. The tablet it only has two buttons: the volume rocker and the power/sleep key. It’s incredibly minimal and doesn’t feature any lavish or extravagant design features. It’s a simple look, and I like it a lot, especially the rounded edges on the top and the bottom, which are similar to Jolla's smartphone.
When you get on to the Jolla Tablet's specs, this thing really starts to surprise you. It’s got a 7.85-inch fully-laminated 2048x1536 resolution IPS LCD display that's incredibly sharp and crisp, boasting an impressive 330 pixels per inch. I mean, this is Retina iPad mini territory.
It also comes equipped with a 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to further 128GB using a microSD card. As far as its other specs go, the Jolla Tablet very respectable. It has a 4,450mAh battery, a 5-meagpixel rear camera capable of 1080p video recording and a 2-megapixel front facing camera. There’s a pair of stereo speakers thrown onto the back as well.
As for Sailfish, the idea is that you can get anywhere in the user interface with just one swipe. Whether it’s from the side, the bottom or the top of the screen, you don’t need to press any buttons unless you want to lock the device or power it off. And this is Sailfish 2.0, which comes with new features like an app carousel for partner apps. And in case you’re worried about app support, the Jolla Tablet can run Android apps. It’s fluid and fast, but it does take a lot of getting used to.
All in all, I’m really excited by what Jolla has to offer. It’s a tiny Finnish company with a really passionate and loyal community of followers and contributors. However, buying a Jolla Tablet isn’t as simple as just going to an online store: You need to go to the company’s Indiegogo campaign. There you can snag one for as little as $219 USD for the 32GB model or $249 for the 64GB one. Full retail price will be $249 and $299, respectively. From what I’ve seen, that’s incredible value for money.