The BQ Aquaris is an interesting concept, but the buggy software and lacklustre performance perhaps means that it should have stayed just that for now.
Plenty of ports, decent battery life, software with potential
Ubuntu OS is buggy, questionable performance, washed-out display
THE BQ AQUARIS M10 is the first Ubuntu-powered tablet and Canonical's attempt to bring its Linux-based operating system to the masses.
It's also the first tablet to offer a fully converged experience, according to Canonical, as the BQ Aquaris M10 can transform from a tablet to a fully-fledged PC.
Ubuntu OS can change from a touch-based to a desktop interface via an HDMI connection, trumping Microsoft's Continuum feature in Windows 10 on paper at least, and apps switch from full-screen to floating windows that can be resized and moved around.
Design and display
Before we get to the software, let's talk about the BQ Aquaris M10's design. It's a pretty nondescript device to look at. The matte black rear (or white, if you opt for the HD model) feels sturdy enough, but build quality is questionable and the device started to creak after a few days of use.
The Aquaris M10 is definitely a tablet designed for two-handed use, too. It's handbag friendly, but at 470g it was quickly too heavy to operate with one hand.
It might not win any beauty contests, but the BQ Aquaris M10 is stuffed full of ports. You'll find microUSB, microHDMI, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD card slot enabling you to expand the 16GB of storage by an additional 64GB.
The plastic chassis houses a 10.1in display with a 1280x800 (149ppi) or a 1920x1,200 (224ppi) resolution. We've been using the FHD model. The claimed 170-degree viewing angles and fingerprint-resistant coating didn't disappoint, but the screen appeared a little pale and washed out even in comparison to older tablets such as the iPad Air 2.
Those of you who will shamelessly wave a tablet about in public to take pictures will be pleased to hear that the BQ Aquaris M10 has an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 5MP sensor on the front.
There's no flash, but the tablet manages to produce decent pictures in natural light. However, you'll probably reach for your smartphone camera given the size of the device and the reflectivity of the display.