As a Linux Nerd(tm), it’s easy to feel left out of the “gadget lust” fun that our Apple and Microsoft brethren so often get to enjoy. New iPads and iPhones (and iWhatevers), Windows 8 tablets named after coffee tables, and so many other bright, shiny new toys just weren’t built for us.
Sure, Android is cool. I love my Galaxy S3. It’s an awesome phone that blows any iOS-powered device out of the water in terms of both speed and power - not to mention flexibility. But it’s not "Linux."
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I mean... yes, it’s technically sitting on the Linux kernel. But it’s not that Linux experience we’ve all come to know and love. You don’t sit down on your Android device and do a quick “apt-get install gwibber.” I know, I know - most people don’t need (or want) to do that. But I do, because I’m a Linux Nerd. That’s my thing.
But every now and then the stars align and we get some seriously awesome new toys that really scratch that particular itch. And now is just that sort of time.
First off, let’s talk tablets.
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet (which, just today, dropped down to just 200 smackers) is one hell of a great little 7-inch tablet, one that already blows the barn doors off of Apple’s just announced iPad Mini. But wouldn’t it be awesome if you could run a full-blown Linux desktop distro on it with some nice tweaks to make it highly usable in a tablet form factor?
BOOM. Enter Ubuntu 13.04, which has, as a key feature, full support for running on the Nexus 7 tablet. And installers are already available. That’s right. You can now apt-get on your 7-inch tablet.
OK. Great. But what if I want a bigger tablet? What if I want a tablet that knocks the socks off the big daddy iPad? Say, something with a Core i7 processor and 8 gigs of RAM...you know...a real, powerful beast of a machine?
WHAM-O. The Lenovo Twist convertible tablet has a full keyboard and does double duty as a rocking laptop and the most powerful tablet you can find. And multiple Linux distros run like a dream on it -- touchscreen and all, including Ubuntu 12.10.
But what about tablet usability? Good touchscreen-optimized on-screen keyboards, etc? We’ve got all of that.
Tablets not your thing? Check out the absolutely awesome work that the openSUSE team is putting in to getting up and running on ARM based systems. And it’s not just the (off-the-charts cheap) $35 Raspberry Pi. We’re talking a bunch of ARM SoC’s, such as CuBox and Samsung Origen, which is just plain rad.
With all of this, now is an awesome time to be a gadget-loving Linux Nerd.