Root 101: a $169 tablet with Nexus experience, seeking funds now

by: Alex SerbanJune 19, 2013


When it came to tablets, I’ve never trusted no-brand manufacturers, mostly because they usually put low-quality displays and poor batteries on their products. Moreover, customers of these devices have almost no guarantee that their device would be upgraded when new Android versions emerge.

Well, Tronity, the team behind a tablet called Root 101, wants to put those compromises behind, by mixing modest, but quality specifications inside a well-built body and with the latest version of stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Moreover, the tablet comes rooted out of the box. The Root 101 project currently seeks funds for the completion of product development on Indiegogo.

According to its makers, Root 101 is a truly open source tablet, coming with an unlocked OS and the possibility to install two of the most popular Android custom ROMs — CyanogenMod and Paranoid Android. Both ROMs can be downloaded from the official Root 101 site, complete with instructions on how to install them.

Design and looks

On the outside, the Root 101 looks like any Android tablet out there, with a plastic front that resembles the Nexus 10 and a thick bezel.

The back-plate is mostly made of aluminum, which should confer the device increased strength and durability, besides a premium touch. The rear camera is situated in the upper-middle part of the screen while the company’s logo can be found right in the center. As usual, all types of ports and buttons are located at the sides of the unit.

Most interesting features

Root 101 comes with a Nexus-like experience and with Android 4.2.2 pre-loaded. The stock version arrives with no bloatware, no tweaked UI skins, and with root access right out of the box. This last option will permit future owners to install any type of application or even rely on a custom ROM for extended customization.

All the source code of the tablet is made available by the manufacturer on Github, allowing future development to occur with full transparency. Moreover, the seller claims that upcoming Android versions will be delivered as long as the hardware supports it.


  • Dimensions: 260mm x 173mm x 9.9mm
  • Display: 10.1-inch IPS HD screen,1280 x 800 resolution
  • CPU: AmLogic AML8726-MX dual-core clocked at 1.5GHz
  • GPU: Mali-400 dual-core
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage: 16GB internal, can be extended through microSD up to 32GB
  • Camera: VGA on the front and 2MP on the back
  • Battery: 7000 mAh (up to 9 hours of life)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, microUSB, mini HDMI with output support for 1080p
  • Others: 3.5mm jack, microphone, 2 rear speakers

Availability and price

At this moment, Root 101 is still in the development stage and the project can be founded through Indiegogo, for just $169. Depending on the options chosen and the time of bidding, that price can increase. Shipping is free within the United States and those wishing to have it abroad will have to pay an additional $20 fee.

Manufacturing should begin in early July and Tronity promises that backers can expect their devices around mid-August.

  • milksop held

    Should be 7 inches… 150 PPI isnt enough now days

    • Luke Sills

      I would have considered one, but the screen would be painful to view

  • Renaud Lepage

    Where’s the NFC?

  • crickcrick

    Without even going to the other specs, that AmLogic processor is crap. This tab is a definite no no for me.

  • turdbogls

    This is not for me. but i am curious how much a snapdragon 600 and 2GB RAM and a 1080P screen would bump up the price. if it was something like $250 for those, this thing would sell like hot cakes.

  • Dat Processor … This is Mediatek 6589T Quad Core Era, that processor is obsolete … I got an 8″ tablet with that weak processor inside. Trust me, it’s awful.

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Well, not the greatest specs, but great for my kids. Also, a solid first tablet or for someone on a tight budget.

  • Should have went up $100 and increased the specs, it’s just crap.

  • Zach Mauch

    I really want to support this, but I just can’t with those specs. 149 pixel density is way too low for a modern tablet.

  • Zach Mauch

    This was obviously bread out of the fact that a contigent of developers didn’t like 7 inch tablets and wanted a better cheap option for a 10 incher.

    It does reflect a real problem. However, the real solution is the Nexus 10. Unfortunatly, it rejected previous Nexus heritage and was priced at premium tablet prices. The optimal price point for the Nexus 10 would have been $299/$349, just like the Nexus 4. I don’t know why they priced it so high. I think they just went too far with the specs. Hopefully the next version will be cheaper.