A lot of people, including me, want one but will a true Linux Pad computer ever exist? I've seen some intriguing prototypes over the years and none more interesting than the Freescale Smartbook but will any of them ever go into mass production? Freescale has the best chance of any that I've seen so far but should it go into production, will it pose any real competition for Apple's iPad? I also have said that I didn't think Apple would ever produce such an animal and, if they did, it would be too expensive for your typical consumer. With the consumer release of the Apple iPad just a breath away, I have to admit that I was wrong about the Apple one. A Linux Pad is, however, a different story.
I want a Linux Pad.
I want it to be just smaller than the size of a standard sheet of paper (8" x 10"), thin (0.5" or less) and inexpensive (<$400 USD). And it should be Moblin-based. Is that too much to ask?
I fear that wholesale component costs will make the device reach into the $500 range, which means that such a device would have to cost consumers close to $700. Much like the iPad.
And it isn't just cost that provides a barrier. The size needs to be decent and such that you can view a more normal amount of text without constant scrolling or paging. Plus, with an aging population, these small screens are not going to sell well among the population with the money to buy them.
You'd think someone would come up with a solution for this.
Someone other than me, that is.
I would pay up to $400 for an electronic device that would be, for the most part, a disposable gadget. And, I'd go into it knowing that a newer, better, more desirable version would show up at two-year intervals. The older, less powerful models would be passed down to the younger generation in my house as toys.
For more than $400, I'll want something that will last three to four years or more with updates and upgrades. And the kids can surf to ebay to purchase their own gently used versions from gadget junkies who've upgraded and can take the loss better than I can.
Will a Linux Pad ever exist? Perhaps only in my mind. Perhaps only on Science Fiction movies and TV shows. Perhaps only as Apple products that aren't using Linux.
Will the Linux Pad of my dreams ever exist? Probably not. Not unless I do it. But I'm not sure how to go about it. How much money would it cost for such an undertaking? Who would build it? Who would mass produce it?
If you have the answers, let me know. I'd like to bring the world a Linux Pad.