Rushed may be a bit harsh but yes, some details are missing.
I think they wanted to make it available to early adopters and also show what they have.
Now they can work on some details (battery runtime, maybe BT?) and also gauge interest, so they know how many to stock before the holiday season.
The goal, quite clearly, is to increase liquidity, and I hope it will play out.
While philosophically, I’d prefer ARM or RISC-V, blob-less BT and kill-switches, it’s not a hard requirement for me. I feel reasonably safe on a Linux device (WiFi off when it says so) and appreciate all the extra steps Purism is doing.
And I understand they need to generate revenue in order to come up with devices closer to their and our ideals.
For the moment, creating an iMX based tablet would probably have been to risky/expensive/time consuming, and at the end people would complain about the performance plus the high price.
So, while Intel-based without HKS can be viewed as a step back, I can imagine it will sell better outside the hardcore privacy bubble.
I’d agree that
If it sells well, they hopefully have the means to improve the software further, and develop a decent Fir Phone, and hopefully a tablet based on it.
Let’s not forget that it is currently basically unthinkable to have blob-less radio (WiFi, BT, 5G), so an Intel CPU is only a minor inconvenience in comparison.
Purism needs to grow their audience & revenue, so future projects like Fir can be funded well.
Also, by (hopefully) growing the audience with a not-too-overpriced tablet, they can hope to sell more Fir units, which in turn can bring down the price for Fir.
And with more units (tablets, phones, whatever), their leverage grows to have radio components with (at least) flashed firmware, (hopefully) full documentation and (eventually) free firmware.
I think it’s a good addition to their portfolio, even if just a first iteration.
To further complete it, i’d like them to add some network-equipment, like (WiFi) routers. They could just rebrand some of the ThinkPenguin stuff.
(Sidenote to Purism: if people are rarely ordering your 24" and 32" inch monitors, maybe it’s because their specs lack some attention to detail… that could be a quick fix to generate more revenue…)