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Old 05-25-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
odiseo77
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Android tablet vs. Linux tablet, pros and cons of each one?


Hi folks,

I recently tested a friend's tablet that comes with a customized version of Debian preinstaled. The price of this tablet is actually very cheap, in comparison to the price other tablets are sold here, and its features are not bad wither: CPU: INTEL Atom N450 1.66GHz, RAM: 2 Gb DDR2 (800 MHz), HD: SSD 32 GB, WiFi, bluetooth, 11,6" screen, SD reader, two USB ports, camera and a wireless and wired keyboard (I think it can be charged by plugin it to the tablet). More information about the tablet here (in Spanish).

I was considering buying a not-too-expensive Android tablet (maybe a Galaxy tab of 7" or similar), but after seeing the Linux one I'm tempted to buy it. I think the only thing I could miss from Android is the Android Market (actually, I don't use it that much, but it has some nice applications).

So, my question is, which one do you think would be better: this Linux tablet, or an Android one? What are the pros and cons of each one? Any thoughts?

I would use the tablet mainly to browse the web, listen music, read, etc., so I don't need something too powerful or expensive. BTW, I've seen information on internet about people installing Android 4 in this tablet with some minor issues (like the screen rotation not working), so I guess it's possible. In case it's possible to install Android, do you think dual booting Android and Linux can be done on a tablet that supports both OSs?

Thanks!
 
Old 05-25-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
yooy
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i don't like idea of dual booting. The only reason i own andoird tablet instead of linux table is that you can't buy linux tablet in slovenia. especialy debian one.

Last edited by yooy; 05-26-2013 at 03:21 PM.
 
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:07 PM   #3
Kallaste
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I like the idea of an x86 tablet running Linux a lot better, but that is probably due to the way I like to use my machines. x86 tablets will run any program you can run on a regular Linux PC, which the Galaxy tab with an ARM processor obviously won't. The ARM tablet will run the apps from Google Play and have a longer battery life. I do a lot of programming, word processing, and other tasks of a "productive" nature, and if I am going to spend money on a computer, I want it to be able to run all of the programs I like to run on a daily basis. There are of course some exceptions, but in general Android apps tend to be oriented more toward consumption than production. For this reason, I'm not a very heavy Android user outside of my Kindle fire.

The tablet you linked looks pretty decent to me. I actually own an Atom tablet made by Viewsonic myself, and I like it a lot, even though the GPU on mine (the GMA 600) is barely supported in Linux and I had to build a custom kernel just to start X. Looks like yours has the GMA 3150, which has much better support.

As for dual booting, mine came with a dual boot of Windows 7 and Android out of the box (of course I wiped them both off to install Slackware ), so yes, it is possible. However, it would have to be an x86 port of Android, which in my opinion is largely useless since most of the apps you will find will not run on it.

My advice is to decide which applications you want to run, and then choose your OS, processor architecture and tablet accordingly. At this point, at least, it just really isn't possible to have the best of both worlds on one device.

Edit: Oh, and am I reading the specs right about the 11.6 inch screen? That's a pretty big tablet. Would be a bit like carrying around a little flat screen TV.

Last edited by Kallaste; 05-25-2013 at 10:32 PM.
 
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:34 PM   #4
annonyxxxx
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I rather use android on a phone or tablet. Linux as been buggy on a tablet from what I read in the past. I like linux on a desktop more than in a tablet for content creation. Who knows, maybe linux on a tablet will improve in time and I might change my mind. Anyway, you can't lose because android is a custom linux.
 
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
Kallaste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annonyxxxx View Post
I rather use android on a phone or tablet. Linux as been buggy on a tablet from what I read in the past. I like linux on a desktop more than in a tablet for content creation. Who knows, maybe linux on a tablet will improve in time and I might change my mind. Anyway, you can't lose because android is a custom linux.
"Buggy" doesn't really tell us much. What did you read, specifically?

Other than the touchscreen, I don't see anything intrinsically different about the OP's tablet from a hardware perspective than a Pine Trail based netbook. Putting that same hardware in a tablet is not going to arbitrarily create bugs just because it is a tablet. I get the feeling you're talking about ARM ports of different distros, but since this tablet has an x86 processor, that does not apply.
 
Old 05-26-2013, 12:54 AM   #6
annonyxxxx
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Perhaps it was ARM based, I don't remember all the details.
 
Old 05-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #7
odiseo77
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Thank you all for your answers, guys.

I think I will buy this tablet, after all (for its size and features it's almost a laptop with a touch screen, actually). Something I like about this tablet is that you can easily install whatever OS you want in it (I've seen videos of it running Linux, Android and Windows, though I'd probably use it with Linux and/or Android). I also like the fact that is oriented towards production, as BloomingNutria says. The only thing I will miss from Android is a few apps, but I can get an inexpensive Android phone later.

Cheers.
 
  


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