For the most part, custom ROMs are the territory of modders and high-functioning enthusiasts, with one very important exception. Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has the MI-One, a smarptohne sold at retail and through carriers that packs the popular MIUI custom ROM instead of stock Android. Now the MI-One is joined by a tablet sibling across a short sea: the Eden Tab, a 7-inch WiFi tablet that’s being prepared for sale exclusively in Japan. Like the Mi-One, the Eden Tab will run MIUI instead of standard Android.
The Eden Tab comes from the same designers of the MI-One, and shares its utilitarian exterior: simple and focused on usage. Specs are pretty standard: a 1.2Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an above-average 1280×800 LCD screen. Ports include the standard MicroUSB for data and charging, a MicroSD card slot and HDMI out. At the moment the tablet runs on the Gingerbread version of MIUI, but of course, it’ll get upgrade to MIUI 4 Ice Cream Sandwich before too long. It packs in a set of three capacitive navigation buttons, which will unfortunately be superfluous on an ICS tablet.
Preorders for the $370 tablet begin now, and the devices themselves will begin shipping this weekend in black, white and pink. A 3G version is planned for release in April, but there’s no word on when the Ice Cream Sandwich update will be pushed out. (Not that you need an update, right, modders?) Odds are good that this one isn’t going to be leaving Asia any time soon, but now that both smartphones and tablets have a community-authored ROM representative, maybe we’ll see one in western markets eventually.