In taking a look at tablets in general, I can’t help but note if I ever did get a tablet for ‘serious’ use, I would probably be inclined to get something like the old HP Slate 500, slap Linux on it, and go. iOS and Android are pretty much the big shiz now when it comes to phones and tablets, but I’d still opt for something that I can put *my* choice environment on.
Reason why I would exclude iOS is because of Apple’s control, I also do not feel that the platform is sufficently designed for “Hackability” in the way that unix systems and Microsoft Windows are. While I’d probably be willing to by a Mac someday if I could justify the cost, an iPhone or iPad really isn’t likely to be something that I will ever buy for myself.
Android on the other hand, is similar but I would generally take it over iOS. What I don’t like about Android is the lack of control. It excells at what it does but you can’t really get that power over the device, unless you gain root access to it, plus setting up a suitable cross compiler or doing development on system with most present-day Android devices, would be mildly irksome.
Which makes me think, if the principal difference between something like a Galaxy Tab or a Slate 500, is getting to install my choice of OS, why does it have to be so? I mean, Android phones and the like generally have the issue of “Rooting”. But simply, I think manufacturers should offer pre rooted versions at an additional cost. Like wise, I believe the world would be a better place if Microsoft Windows eventually took this model as well, although I find that unlikely before the next major version of Windows (likely NOT8), and I think it’d be a darn fine way for them to get sued lol.
Ahhh, but in the end, there is a real kicker to it. I have a netbook that offers everything that I want. The only reason to have a tablet would be if I operated in an environment where a netbook was inefficent, like travelling most of the time. So in the end, I do actually prefer my Alice :-).
2 thoughts on “Some thoughts on tablets in general”
If you want something more powerful than a netbook with touch and pen input you might want to check out the HP TouchSmart tm2. That's no Slate but a Convertible meaning you can use it like a normal Laptop but can turn the screen and fold it onto the keyboard to use it as a Tablet PC. It weights a bit more (4.2 pound vs. 1.6 pound) but has a wider screen too (12.1" vs 8.9") plus it has the integrated keyboard which might come in handy for a programer.
In general you should keep in mind that it can be a royal pain to get the touch and pen input to work under linux or another open source OS.
I didn't try it personally, 'cause I'm not that familiar with the matter (and didn't want to break it) but I read in some forum that some people tried and had a hard time with it.
Also I have yet to find a decent open source note taking software
Reminds me of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, basically a ARM/Android based version of my netbook, where the screen can detach and be used as a tablet. Don't know about the TouchSmarts but the Slate 500 is noted as working the current linuxa franca of distributions.
For notes taking software, I've personally come to use the viki plugin for vim (as I use vim), and generally suggest org-mode for emacs other wise. I also have a cronjob that regularly auto-commits my notes to a private git repository. Which provides features and insurance most software lacks.