Surprises are very much a given in the tablet sphere these days. Take the EviGroup SmartPad 2 tablet for example. It comes in two models, with decent hardware, to go with a not so decent prices.
But the company has chosen to sell it without a preinstalled operating system.
Meaning, you can pick whichever OS you want — leaving open a world of possibilities. As reported, the French company wants customers to make the final choice. Obviously, iOS is out of the question, leaving the battle between Windows and Linux.
And maybe even Android, if the vendor allows it.
The pricing is a bit of an issue here, though. The more affordable of which retails for €499, while the other can be had for €699. Stateside it translates to $630 and $883 respectively, which is smack in between the Surface Pro 3 range.
But the SmartPad 2 does not exactly have the hardware to match.
For example, the base model is powered by an Intel Celeron dual-core chip running at 1.1GHz. You get a solid 4GB of RAM, and an okay 64GB of internal storage, even if the processor choice makes for a rather interesting, but odd, configuration.
The more advanced model houses a dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU.
Other hardware specifications are not to inspiring either, starting with the serviceable 1366 x 768 pixels resolution on an 11.6-inch display. You can get a companion keyboard for it, though, along with a smart styles, meaning the company wants to position these as laptop replacements.
Obviously, these will appeal the most to business users, particularly considering that Ubuntu Touch is now a reality. These probably will still be niche devices, one feels, even if the company offers the choice of either Windows 7 or Windows 8 for a little extra cost.
However, it remains to be seen whether the trend of offering tablets without preinstalled operating systems catches up. If it does, we can be in for a few more surprises.