Crowdfunding an Ubuntu phone that doubles as your PC

Canonical, the company that leads and maintains Ubuntu (the free operating system I use for everything), is looking to raise $32M on Ind-yGoGo in order to build a phone called the Ubuntu Edge, which will be "a phone that’s designed from the ground up to be a PC as well." It's a beautiful looking device, and I've got confidence that Ubuntu can do unique and important things with mobile phone operating systems (it will dual-boot Ubuntu and Android). The phone is meant to be powerful enough to serve as your desktop PC -- just plug it into a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Crafted from cool, textured amorphous metal, the Edge has a distinctive, precise look but its rakishly chamfered edges are shaped to fit naturally in the palm -- our design prototype already has a wonderfully solid feel. It’s the right size, too. Edge gestures are the next big thing in mobile, and our testing has found that a 4.5in screen is ideal for comfortable control of all four edges with one hand.

We also believe the race for ever higher resolution has become a distraction. Beyond 300ppi you’re adding overhead rather than improving display clarity. We think colour, brightness and dynamic range are now the edge of invention so we’ll choose a display for its balance of resolution, dynamic range and colour accuracy.

We’ll protect that gorgeous display with something vastly tougher than glass: pure sapphire crystal, a material so hard only diamond could scratch it. For a phone to run a full desktop OS, it must have the raw power of a PC. We’ll choose the fastest available multi-core processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of storage. The battery will use silicon-anode technology, so we can squeeze more energy into the same dimensions.

The rewards are pretty steeply pitched: $20 gets you a good feeling and $600 gets you a phone, with nothing inbetween. But $600 sounds like a deal for a phone that doubles as a laptop. As with all crowdfunded projects, you need to be aware that they may raise a lot of money and produce no hardware, though Canonical has a good reputation for shipping on time.

Ubuntu Edge

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  1. I couldn't resist & bought the $600 phone. I'm a big Linux fan and I felt it was time to put my money where my mouth is. I'm sick of Google's profiling and I won't pay the Apple tax. I know Canonical have made some bad choices (in my opinion) over the Amazon spygate saga, but I'll take my chances on them (well, until Firefox OS has some decent highend phones available in my country).

    Also, it's kinda exciting to watch and see if they make their funding goal.

  2. Kimmo says:

    This is a pretty sweet idea; its time has come,

    It almost redefines 'personal computer'.

    Amorphous or vitreous metal is the shiz, yo. IIRC it's usually an insulator too. 'Does not produce abrasion powder' blows me away though... how's that possible?

    Anyway, concerning its strength and molecular structure, consider the fact that glass formed in a vacuum is stronger than steel until air molecules start hitting it and creating microscopic stress risers.

    But hey, you think glassy metals are cool, how about metallic glass? This stuff is brilliant:

    The addition of the palladium provides our amorphous material with an
    unusual capacity for extensive plastic shielding ahead of an opening
    crack. This promotes a fracture toughness comparable to those of the
    toughest materials known. The rare combination of toughness and
    strength, or damage tolerance, extends beyond the benchmark ranges
    established by the toughest and strongest materials known.

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