Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1213 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Tablet + keyboard as general purpose device (WAS tablet pc)
  • From: C <smaug42@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:41:28 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 17:25, Will Stephenson <wstephenson@xxxxxxx> wrote:
I'm very interested in hearing how those of you with tablets + keyboards get
on with them as general purpose computing devices, to see where the market is
going.  How useful are they? What tasks do you need the PC/laptop for?  Is it
just for better performance, or are there some things that are just not
possible?  Are those 'legacy things' like playing optical discs that can also
be carried out using more current technology like streaming video, or things
that are intrinsically impossible on a tablet?

I am concerned about the future of the consumer Free Software 'market' as
tablets displace PCs and locked down proprietary or only notionally Free
operating systems replace general purpose OSen and platforms.  It would be a
great pity if the effort we've expended over the last 15 years to fight a
monopolist was wasted because the userbase skipped happily into a totalitarian
state's walled garden while we were fighting each other over widget sets.

As a general purpose computing device it's fine. I find my tablet to
be very useful overall. The combination of general computer with GPS,
accelerometer etc is nice to have (when apps take advantage of it).

There are a lot of tradeoffs with a tablet running Android... you do
not have any reasonable office suite, you have limited CPU
capabilities, websites are a hit/miss for usability (sometimes they
are slow, sometimes they won't load at all, or you are forced into a
low functionally mobile edition even though you have the browser set
to Desktop)

Personally I'd love to be able to strip off the Android OS and
install/run openSUSE (or any other Linux) but so far, that hasn't been
done with any measure of success - the closest I've seen on the tablet
I have (Acer Iconia A500) is to run Ubuntu from an image file and use
VNC to connect to it.

So to answer your specific questions:
- It's very useful overall, and I'm happy I bought it. I use it
almost every day for general browsing, answering emails etc etc.
- You still need the PC/laptop for things like working on documents,
graphics and so on. There are a few tools that give you rudimentary
office suites but they are lacking in too many areas to be really
practical. As an aside, the upcoming Windows RT tablets with a "full"
MS Office installed will really be an Android killer for a lot of
- I use the PC partly for better performance, typing long text
content is easier on the PC keyboard (you can plug in a normal USB
keyboard, but the responsiveness still isn't 100% on the tablet when
you type)
- Streaming video is generally not too much of an issue with the
tablet, but you can easily hit the proverbial wall with CPU
capabilities if the stream is HD.
- Playing DVDs... never tried. I suppose it's be possible with an
external USB DVD player, but.. not practical.

If you look at the efforts that the KDE guys have put into the tablet
with Plasma Active I could see myself easily moving over to that over
Android IF.. IF they brought it out in a larger screen size. The
current model is too small for my tastes/preferences.

Alternatively, as I mentioned earlier, I'd be more than happy to
install openSUSE on the tablet I've got, but I don't know anyone who
has managed it yet.

openSUSE 12.1 x86_64, KDE 4.8.2
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