Kogan goes Linux crazy with Android devices, Ubuntu netbook

Portable computer first to ship Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity

Kogan's leap of faith with Unity

Kogan's leap of faith with Unity

After becoming famous more than two years ago for promising to bring an Android smartphone to the Australian market, Kogan Technologies has released and Android tablet, PVR and new notebooks running Ubuntu Linux.

Unfortunately the original Agora handset was a flop, but the new range of Agora devices are tangible and for sale on Kogan’s website from today.

The Agora Internet TV Portal runs Android and starts at $149; the Agora 7-inch Android Tablet PC starts at $139; and the Agora 12-inch notebook comes in two models - $299 for the Standard and $319 for the Pro.

With the final Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ not shipping until later this month, the Agora netbook may be the first computer in the world to ship with Unity as the default desktop

Kogan Technologies founder Ruslan Kogan said his team has been working for “many months” to deliver the expanded Agora range.

“The Kogan Internet TV Portal is powered by Android, and it lets Australians experience the whole web on the biggest screen in their home,” he said.

“Everyone can now watch what they want, when they want. They can stream movies from content providers across the globe including YouTube, Ustream, and any website with video. They can browse the web, chat to their friends on social media, share and view photos, movies and music, and even play games like Angry Birds on their TV!”

Ruslan Kogan said the new products show that Australian companies are capable of creating technology that can compete on the world stage.

The Agora Internet TV Portal essentially brings Android to the TV in the same way a PVR can bring regular Windows or Linux to the TV. It also provides full access to the Android Market.

The Agora Tablet features a capacitive touch screen, HDMI out and Wi-Fi, but no 3G. A microSD slot can be used for storage expansion.

Both the set top box and tablet run Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’.

Today’s announcement also includes a new netbook, the Agora 12-inch Ultra Portable Laptop running a pre-release of Ubuntu 11.04 with the new Unity desktop interface.

With the final Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ not shipping until later this month, the Agora netbook may be the first computer in the world to ship with Unity as the default desktop.

The netbook features either 1GB of memory and 250GB of storage or 2GB and 500GB depending on the model.

Both models have an Intel Celeron ultra low voltage processor, 1.3 mega pixel camera and weigh 1.32 kilograms.

The company has flirted with Linux netbooks in the past with one model running gOS, but this announcement and the adoption of Ubuntu looks like a more long-term strategy.

Kogan said the Agora 12 laptop comes pre-loaded with “practically all the software you’ll ever need on a computer”.

“We’ve created a laptop that is not only extremely affordable and functional, but one that you’re proud to show off. It’s thin, light, and stylish,” he said.

Kogan said the products are the result of thousands of conversations with customers through Facebook, Twitter, and the Kogan blog.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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