LAS VEGAS--$399. Linux. Designed for the kitchen. The Qooq is one of the weirdest tablet computers we have seen in a while. It's selling respectably well in France, we are told, and it's coming to the United States soon.
Qooq (that's "cook," get it?) has unusual specs, sports a too-high price, and is an outlier in the app economy. But it's not a bad product and it may actually have a niche. A small one, though.
The hardware: a 10.1-inch display, powered by a Cortex A9 processor running at 1 GHz. The enclosure: splash-, spill-, and drop-resistant. It looks nice, with its modern-art corner spikes that will keep it elevated off the counter and with a flip-out easel stand on the back, too.
The real weird starts in the software. The Qooq runs Linux. Not Android, not Windows 8, not even Web OS. Just Linux, customized by Qooq for easy set-up and intuitive operation. In the quick demo I got, it appeared to deliver on that.