After searching around through disappointment to disappointment while searching for a slate (most call them tablets) to be a semi-replacement for my netbook, I decided that the market’s too immature to sway into something “open” right now… and still have something decent hardware wise. After thinking about it, and touching so many different slates, I decided I should go with an Apple iPad. I had issues with the iPad before, mainly because it wasn’t a multitasking computer and wasn’t designed for typing. The multitaskingissue was silenced by iOS 4.2.1 on the iPad. It appears Apple introduced multitasking capabilities to their ipod/ipad iOS operating system with 4.2.1. It works nicely, as I’m typing this out on my iPad right now while listening to Pandora in the background, along with background email checking and instant messenging in the background… this browser has 7 tabs open, so and there appears to be no slowdown when I’m doing things, either.
As far as typing, that part has been silenced by modular keyboards that the iPad can just click into and act as a monitor. The iPad also is bluetooth compat, so a bluetooth keyboard could be used as well. I bought mine too quickly I think, as there is one I found at Target tonight that will accept the iPad in both landscape & portrait style while mine only allows it in portrait. (straight up and down instead of widescreen) Hey, guess I could buy it later if I wanted to…
There is a little moral issue with the Apple ipad/ipod lineup, since they have attempted to lock people into only receiving software through their App Store. Obviously, this will not stand and is broken with every release that appears. With mine (4.2.1), the crack to open it to any compatible software is only less than a month away. That will allow me to use the inner workings of the iPad as a Unix machine as well as a simple appliance. So far, other than not being able to install “non-approved” software (or DOWNLOAD anything to the drive non-approved), the only thing bad is no flash. That’s really minimal for me, as I don’t use much Flash on the ‘net. Well, I can’t use firefox or open office either, which isn’t good… but that will change.
My ultimate goal is to have a iPad slate with Unix wide open, with open source and apple-approved software running side-by-side happily. The only thing I’d need is GCC, Apache, PHP, Perl, and a local shell. After that, firefox, open office (or some variant), and maybe a few tools for video editing and such.
Something sexy about being able to carry a 10″ slate with you, and it being your computer….
With that being said, playing around with the iOS and Apple mindset has made me debate going the Apple route for the main desktop. Being a Unix backend, and with the issues I’ve had with the Intel platform, I may as well fall into another Intel platform. (apple desktops run intel chips now) Eh, will see… never know. It’s not like they are super pricey until you get above midlevel. Then they’re just nuts expensive. At like $2,400+….