If we ignore the touchpad fiasco, Linux Mint 17.1 KDE is a very robust, very elegant release. It comes with all the necessities for a happy, carefree desktop usage. Everything works out of the box, the system is fast and stable, and apart from some small niggles, hardware detection and compatibility is quite good.
Perhaps this isn't the most exciting KDE around, but most of them come with a fairly reserved and somewhat bland default presentation, and it takes time digging under the hood to bring all the excitement to the surface. Overall, if you like the Mint family, then this is a very decent offering, and it also works well on modern laptops plagued with evil concepts. So that's an added bonus, for sure. All in all, 8.81/10. Definitely worth a try.
The Ubuntu MX4 is yet to receive an official price or release date, but our opening impressions of it are very positive.
Featuring a premium design, innovative operating system, and decent internal specifications the MX4 looks like a great smartphone.
We also have to praise Canonical for the great work it's done over the past year to improve Ubuntu mobile's stability and performance, and can't wait to test the OS more thoroughly.
Last month, in March, with the 2.9.0 release done, we Calligra developers followed our plans and started a branch named “frameworks”, to work on version 3.0, to be the first version based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. Calligra 3.0 should not see any new features, the focus is purely on getting the port to the new platform done without any regressions.
Void is an independent distribution and offers a rolling release approach to package management. There are many Void editions we can download. There are Void images for the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi computers along with builds for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines. In addition, there are spins of Void for specific desktop environments and we can download images for Cinnamon, Enlightenment, MATE and Xfce flavours. I decided to begin my trial with the 64-bit Cinnamon build of Void. The download for the Cinnamon image is 454MB in size.
There are people out there that will want all of the verbose options, giving access to every available installation option but maybe there could be a general installer and a custom installer to make it easier for the masses.
To be honest I found the openSUSE installer more difficult than the Anaconda installer that is shipped with Fedora and that has taken heaps of criticism over the years. Now I would say that the Fedora installer has greatly improved but the openSUSE installer still has some way to go.
The first 'production' smartphone running the Ubuntu operating system is finally here. Designed and marketed by the Spanish company BQ (not to be confused with the Chinese company BQ Mobile) and made in China, the first Ubuntu Phone is based on the 4.5-inch BQ Aquaris E4.5, which normally ships with Android 4.4. Included with the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition are two copies of the quick-start guide (in four languages each, one of the eight being English), a charger (with a built-in two-pin continental mains plug) and a 1-metre USB-to-Micro-USB cable. A comprehensive User Manual is available for download from the BQ website. The list price for the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, which is only available in the EU, is €169.90 (~£125).