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Re: [vox] Best Linux-based tablet?
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Re: [vox] Best Linux-based tablet?

On 04/26/2011 10:43 AM, Darth Borehd wrote:
> I've been looking at tablet PCs.  I would like something primarily used for
> e-book reading (mostly my own PDFs and OpenOffice documents).  I will mostly
> use it with wi-fi at home and off-line while riding on a train.  Do you have
> one you can recommend that is linux-based?  I would, of course, prefer it to
> be as open-source and DRM-free as possible.

DRM free ebooks is tough.  Sure there's the gutenberg project and
related, but alas while DRM free music is common/easy, ebooks are not.

Well what is "best"?  Cheapest?  Longest battery life?  Color?  Do you
care about reading in direct sunlight?  Do you care about the speed of
the display?  Speed of the CPU?  Multitouch Do you consider android =
linux?   Do you care about x86 compatibility?  Flash?  Android market?

Unfortunately consumer expectation killed off pretty much all the arm
based (read that as can't run windows, thin, great battery life) linux
netbooks and tablets about a year ago.  Finally ipad blazed a trail,
proving consumers would buy millions of tablets even if they didn't run
ms-windows.  Android has started to take advantage of this in the last
few months, there's dozens of android tablets shipping in the $100-$600

So there's the really low end e-book like tablets, often don't have the
android market, often have android 2.x (not tablet optimized), often
have B&W or lower quality screens, often lack multi-touch, sometimes
have rather high display latencies.  Probably the leader on the low end
is the Nook.  They typically have slower single core CPUs.  Often
require significant hacking to make fun/useful.

Few $200-$300 you get to the mid range, larger displays, always color,
often multitouch, often a GPS, often a webcam.  Things like the Superpad
10.2" ($200) to the ViewSonic gTablet ($300).

The high end is more direct competition for things like the ipad/ipad2.
 Dual core CPUs, 512-1024 MB ram, high quality screen, android 3.0
(tablet optimized).  Things like the Dell Streak 7", Samsung 2nd gen
tablets, Xoom, and the new Asus Transformer.  The Xoom is WAY too
expensive and isn't selling, but Asus just started shipping almost
identical hardware for $400.00.
So personally for my "best" tablet:
* 7-9", 10" is a bit big for e-book type duty.  Most hardback pages are
  on the order of 8" diagonal.  Anything larger gets tough to hold in
  one hand
* a nice color screen so I can do light video watching, light
  web browsing, casual gaming.  Some e-book reading as well.
* android 3.0
* Dual core CPU and 512-1024MB ram.
* Open bootloader.
* 1280x800 (for a nice high DPI).

So while the nice 10" tablets are shipping today (Asus transformer and
Motorola Xoom), the nicer 7-9" tablets aren't shipping yet.  The one
I've got my eye on currently is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.  It's not
shipping yet though.  If Dell delivers on the promises android 3.0
upgrade for the Streak 7" that would be in the running as well.  Archos
has (so far) been shipping pretty low end tablets, but has promised a
high end tablet referred to as the Gen 9 that sounds promising, includes
a very nice dual core cpu, and of course honeycomb.

Oh, almost forgot the Tmobile Gslate (LG) is 8.9", 1280x768, honeycomb
and is shipping.  Tempting.

Try search android tablet on amazon, or maybe tegra tablet if you want a
more complete list.

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