How much would you pay to gamble on the Next Big Thing in mobile tech? Canonical, the maker of Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, is hoping you’d pay at least $600 today, as that’s how much the company is asking in its Indiegogo campaign for its proposed Ubunttu Edge smartphone. For only 24-hours, the company’s crowdfunding campaign is offering the chance for early backers to grab an Edge handset at a $230 discount from its proposed price of $830 per unit. Of course, this is all for a piece of technology that’s looking to raise $32 million to even exist in the first place.

Canonical’s Indiegogo project page offers up some extremely impressive specs for the Edge, which is being promised as basically an Ubuntu-powered PC in a black brick that fits in the palm of your hand. Outfitted with a 4.5 inch screen, the Edge will feature the “fastest multi-core CPU,” along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal hard drive storage. All of this is meant to power a “fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked,” meaning that once you hook this baby up to a monitor, you’ve got a complete, powerful computer at your disposal. Even more interesting is the promise that it’ll run feature dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android OS, meaning that if you’ve got a large collection of Android-friendly apps already, you’ll have full access to them when you get your Edge. For $600 (or even $830), that’s a pretty badass piece of hardware.

Yeah, I basically really want one. A lot.

However! I don’t want one badly enough to shell out $830 (or the legitimately solid discount of $600). But if there ever were a smartphone I’d be willing to pay full price for, it’d probably be this one. The idea of full, mobile computing is an attractive one—it’s pretty much why laptops have outpaced the desktop in terms of most desirable PC category over the last several years. And now that tablets are becoming more and more powerful devices, it’s probable that in the next few years, we’ll see more touch-enabled, detachable PCs, while standard-style laptops will start to dwindle. The Ubuntu Edge is simply another sign of this trend picking up steam.

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Even still, there’s still quite a ways to go before we can reliably say that the world is ready for the mobile-computing age. Perhaps we can take the Edge’s campaign as a sort of test run. Are folks willing to pay this much for an untested, albeit interesting, piece of technology? Smartphones are so attractive to most consumers because of how carriers’ contracts subsidize the full price. The Edge, on the other hand, is relying on its capabilities as a full-on PC that’s also a phone to attract attention.

And it seems to be working so far. As of this writing, the campaign has managed to raise $226,036 of its $32 million goal, while 324 of the 5,000 discounted handsets have been claimed. Hitting refresh sees the campaigns numbers rise sharply, so it’s likely that by the time you’ve read this, it’ll be much, much higher.

So are you headed for the Edge? Take a look at this video introducing the Edge hardware and let us know what you think in the comments:


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