PengPod: True Linux Tablets and MiniPCs

The power of the Allwinner A10 with the flexibility of real Linux, help us build a true Linux tablet!




Our goal is to build a powerful, True Linux Tablet, one free of Google and Android's restrictions, at a reasonable price.  If you're a Linux fanatic you probably ended up getting an Android phone. Hey, it's Linux right? It'll be open, run all the programs I'm familiar with and let me hack around and have some fun right?  Too often, this is not so. That is why we set out to find a way to run real Linux and all the software you really want on the incredibly low cost and powerful Arm based System on a Chip(SOC) hardware available for tablets. Enter the Allwinner A10 SOC.  This beast of silicon radically changed the market overnight with 1.2 Ghz speed, glitch free HD video coprocessing, 3D acceleration, HDMI, SATA....

Features of the Allwinner A10 include:

  • 1.2ghz Cortex A8 ARM Core

  • MALI400MP OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU

  • DDR3 Controller 800MHz 1GB max

  • 2160p Hardware-accelerated Video playback (4x the resolution of 1080p)2D Accelerated Graphics Engine

  • NAND Flash Controller

  • 4 SDIO interfaces

  • USB 2.0 Host as well as a 2nd USB-OTG Interface

  • 24-pin RGB/TTL as well as simultaneous HDMI out

  • SATA-II 3gb/sec

  • 10/100 Ethernet

  • a 2nd 24-pin RGB/TTL interface that is multiplexed (shared) on the same pins for a standard IDE (PATA) interface.

GPIO, I2C, PWM, Keyboard Matrix (8x8) and much more.

This processor and its incredibly low price have enabled a whole generation of low cost, high powered electronics. Beyond just tablets, the A10 is used in mini PCs, “TV Sticks”, netbooks and more. All these devices come standard with Android, which is a good start, but not enough.  Now we come to the best part.  Allwinner's Linux kernel source has been made available and has an active community working to mainline it.  Their contributions have created a stable system running true Linux, not just Android with a working U-boot, kernel and Debian, Ubuntu or Linaro root file system.  This system is open source top to bottom and almost feature equivalent with Android on the same hardware. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to complete development of the PengPod line of Allwinner based electronics and improve the tablet related features in the community Allwinner Linux kernel. As a bonus, all these devices already run a high quality, stable version of Android they can easily be made to run both systems. Why not have the best of both worlds?

The Devices

Introducing the PengPods, a line of high powered Linux tablets and PCs! All these devices are the latest available in their category and show what the Allwinner chips can do. All devices are available in the rewards with Android and some with Linux pre-installed. We are focused on the tablets and our initial goals will fund the completion of the software enhancements and hacking tools for PengPod tablets. We intend to eventually offer all the devices with preinstalled Linux if our stretch goals are met. All devices will have Linux images available for download at shipment time, regardless of whether they are available with Linux pre-installed, which depends on the stretch goals.  We have a new demonstration video coming very soon...

Product line includes:

PengPod 700 Tablet PengPod 1000 Tablet

PengStick MiniPC


The remaining devices will be available as strech goals.

  • PengPod713: 7” Tablet with A13, 512MB ram, 4GB flash for under $100

  • PengBox: Mini PC with 1GB ram, 4GB flash around $110

  • PengBook: 10" Netbook with A10, 1GB ram, 8GB flash around $160

What will my device come with?

Linux or Android, its your choice. Every PengPod device is capable of running from internal flash or booting from an SD Card. You can choose to get your device with Android or Linux pre-installed.  If you choose Android you will still be able to boot the device into Linux with a properly prepared SD card. In the rewards we are also offering SD cards preprogrammed with bootable Linux images, so if you want both, just add the SD card amount to your contribution and make sure to fill out the survey we send so we know which image you want.

If we reach our stretch goals, we will begin offering more devices, but some might be offered with Android pre-installed only until a further goal is met. The devices will still support Linux and we will have images ready for them by the time they ship, but again we may not be able to pre-install Linux on the internal memory.  Please keep an eye on our project updates for more information.

All devices also include standard accessories like power plugs and cables, check each device for details. We also have several accessories available which make the devices better, make sure to take a look!

Why crowd funding?

Most of the software we will be providing is stable, open source and freely available, so why the crowd funding? Our experience has proven it takes a lot of time to locate, research, build and run all the pieces needed for a working A10 Linux system. We are working to coalesce all these parts into a stable image so users can be up and running right away. Our time is precious and every hour we can avoid redoing something that already works is another we can spend hacking!

The hardware is ready to be made with no further hardware engineering. 

While we have a good, running Linux system now for all the devices, there are still some rough edges. We intend to fix up the tablet related features, host a central repository of A10 specific packages and create images and guides to make these devices even better. All these efforts will take time and we plan to use the proceeds from the crowd funding to fund the remainder of the software work and maintenance.  We would like the Linux tablets to match the main Android feature list.

The features which are not yet complete are:

  • G Sensor based automatic screen rotation.

  • Hardware button support.

  • On board camera support with Video4Linux.

These features are close to ready and will be completed using the proceeds from the crowd funding. Interested in hacking? We are also going to...

  • Maintain a community forum and wiki

  • Provide source for everything we create and share it on Github.

  • Provide a package repository for the PengPods.

  • Provide prebuilt images, with updates as available.

  • Provide tools, scripts and guides as we go.

Based on how much is brought in we are also considering offering prizes for developer teams implementing community goals, adding more devices and maybe even other processor lines to our support list. Many of the tablet related packages created will benefit systems beyond Allwinner and hopefully help create a true Linux based tablet movement.


Learn more and get involved with the community at http://www.PengPod.com


Perks:  Please note its $5 extra to get Linux installed on the internal flash, make sure you add that to your contribution.  Linux on flash devices might take a few more weeks to ship, we will keep you informed when we get to this stage.  There seems to be a limit on the number of perks, so we had to stack options inside the perk, sorry its a little compilcated.  Make sure to ask us if you have any questions.


Accesories:  The accesories in the perks can be added to any PengPod device by contributing the extra amount indicated.  It will be less than getting it individually becuase of the shared shipping.


BONUS:  We realize Christmas is right around the corner and some people might be consider PengPods as gifts.  Given the busy holiday manufacturing and shipping schedules we will not have the devices before Christmas.  So if you want to give one as a gift, for no extra charge we will send a nice certificate to let the receiver know their gift is on the way soon.


About shipping outside the USA:  Our perks are based off USPS domestic rates.  If you want your device shipped outside the USA you must add an addition amount.  For PengPod devices to Canada and Mexico, $24 for everywhere else $39.  If you are only getting an SD card then the rate is $12 to Canada and Mexico and $16 for everywhere else.  These fees are one per shipment, so if you get several items you only have to pay the additional fee of your largest item once.  This does not include and duties, fees or taxes that may be charged by your governent or domestic carrier which will be solely your responsibilty.




Team on This Campaign: