Best Linux Tablets 2021.
While Linux may still have a relatively small share of the desktop market, Linux is growing in popularity every day. The desktop market itself may not be the holy grail it once was. On the contrary, the real competition is the market for mobile operating systems.
Today, the market is dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Others have tried to weaken this duopoly but to no avail. Could Linux be a viable alternative? You might be surprised to know that getting a Linux tablet isn’t nearly as unusual as it sounds.
Why Linux on a Tablet?
There are many reasons to use Linux over other operating systems. When it comes to mobile devices, the main advantage is their open source code.
Now, as some readers no doubt point out now, Android is also open source. However, when you buy a typical Android phone, it runs a heavily modified version of the OS. It will also undoubtedly contain proprietary software, malware, and various applications that put your privacy at risk.
On the other hand, a Linux phone or tablet will only run open source. This means that anyone can scrutinize the code for malicious or problematic elements.
Both iOS and Android are actually Linux-related. Android is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. iOS does not descend from Linux, but can trace its ancestry back to Unix as a common ancestor, just like Linux.
Ubuntu Touch Leads the Pack
If you have a tablet that can boot Linux, which version of Linux should you choose? Ultimately it’s up to you, but the clear leader is the special edition known as Ubuntu Touch. This version of Ubuntu Linux has been specifically designed to run on smartphones and tablets.
This is not an easy task, as virtually all previous Linux shells were designed for a keyboard and mouse interface. Ubuntu Touch also has the largest number of supported devices and an active support community.
Ubuntu Touch isn’t just a desktop OS rework. It has been heavily modified, ported to run on ARM processors, and is stripped of non-mobile components. It also has a desktop mode similar to Samsung Dex and the upcoming Android desktop mode. While there are various flavors of Linux distributions for tablets, the best place to start is Ubuntu Touch.
It’s Still Early Days
Linux on a tablet or smartphone is nowhere near as advanced as Android or iOS, so don’t expect everything to be smooth. If you buy one of the rare tablets that come with Linux, you will surely have the best experience.
The manufacturer guarantees that the software works correctly with the tablet hardware. If you install Linux on a suitable tablet yourself, there is no guarantee that all of your hardware will or will function correctly.
Hardware compatibility is ultimately in the hands of the Linux community, and there are so many different tablet models with different hardware that it is impossible to cover all of them. A good place to start is the list of devices that are compatible with Ubuntu Touch.
You May Be Limited to Older Hardware
Following the previous point, you may find that the devices that Linux works best on are generally older. This is mainly because there was more time to unpack and sort out the old hardware. So don’t expect high-performance modern tablets to run flawlessly with Linux right out of the box.
Now with all the caveats removed, let’s take a look at some real-world examples of tablets that can run Linux.
PineTab will not receive any awards for performance or specifications. It is conceived as a super-cheap tablet for developing countries and the education market. From a certain point of view, however, this is a very impressive device.
Starting at $ 99, it features a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The screen offers 720p resolution, it has front and rear cameras and USB ports for connecting peripherals such as keyboards. It is a fully functional Linux tablet that is expandable to add upgrades such as LTE modems, SATA SSDs, and M.2 drives.
It also has innovative features like an SD card slot that you can boot from. Simplification of fast loading of various operating systems and specialized software.
The PineTab may not be the right tablet for most people, but it is the right tablet for general use. Its greatest strength is its customizability and complete software freedom, which makes it a huge little computer.
We’re big fans of the Raspberry Pi, an affordable yet powerful little computer board. The first Raspberry Pi was created to offer an affordable computer that kids could learn to program on, but it has since found a home in all sorts of hobbies and open source projects.
The RasPad 3 Kit turns your Raspberry Pi 4 into a Linux tablet. It comes with a RasPad OS which is based on the Raspberry Pi OS, but the RasPad is fully compatible with operating systems such as Ubuntu and Raspbian.
The RasPad looks pretty interesting. This is not a flat tablet, but a wedge-shaped body. This means that when you lay it down, the screen has a perfect viewing angle and enough room to copy each of the Raspberry Pi‘s ports.
Therefore, the RasPad 3 is the ideal tablet for use in workshops, educational institutions, laboratories, and other places where you want your hands to be free to work with easy access to the tablet. At just $ 239 (or less during sales), this is an absolute bargain.
Microsoft Surface tablets come in two main flavors: ARM and x86. Their ARM tablets run a special version of Windows written to run on these processors, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Ubuntu Touch (which is also designed for ARM) is compatible.
However, when it comes to X86 tablets, things are different. Since x86 Surface tablets are essentially regular computers that run the standard Windows kernel, there is nothing stopping you from booting any version of x86 Linux onto your device.
If you do a little googling, you’ll likely find a Linux installation guide for your preferred distribution on a Surface x86 tablet. Surface tablets offer great performance and hardware quality, but you probably have to work hard to get features like multitouch to work properly.
In most cases, you will have to install Linux on your tablet yourself, with varying degrees of success. In addition, you have specialized vendors like EmperorLinux that preconfigure tablets with a custom version of Linux. Guaranteed performance of all equipment and technical support.
Their Raven tablets are modified Lenovo Thinkpad X computers that are available in a variety of models and specifications. They’re not cheap, it’s true, but if you’re looking for a professional-grade Linux tablet implementation, this is where we are.
Do you know of any great projects or hardware for Linux tablets? Let us know in the comments.
Best Linux Tablets 2021
Best Linux Tablets 2021