PengPod The solution for those of us who want portable tablets?

I undoubtedly consider myself as someone who likes to try new things and the truth is, tablets call my attention as a small gadget that can be useful for everyday things, I will not deny it, I want one for leisure and to facilitate tasks Simple too, well, I like the possibility of reading without needing a book and reviewing many things.

My problem with tablets is that I am a total "Fight you" as they say in my country, bone: I do not have money. That implies that I do not have access to decent tablets, there are rare super cheap Chinese options but the truth is that none of them catches my attention and, the ones that I like that are "more accessible" still do not go down. $250 something that with inflation, the change to the dollar in my country and the restrictions for currency control well ... complicated then.

Anyway, I've been reading for days about a type of tablet that apparently can change this type of situation and represent an interesting niche for Linux users and for non-Linux users who want to change a bit of scene and fiddle with a device: PengPod. PengPod is a project that seeks to sell two tablet formats and a «pen drive»(As I like to call them) that work with Linux dualboot and Android 4.0.

Some time ago they were looking for financing via IndieGoGo and they have already achieved it, so the project continues to advance and they can already pre-order their products that in theory should go on sale as soon as the first quarter of 2013 (if we are alive). In short, the thing is not about the news but about talking about something important since this touches a little the subject that elav had commented on tablets, he wondered What is a tablet for? and the truth is that What is a tablet really good for? Well, with those we have today the answer is: not productive at all seriously, nothing really productive comes out of these devices, not at least in the development field, maybe implementing them in education and putting them to creative use, but that's not the point; The point is What is it for me as a professional? What does it stop my smartphone from doing? Because I check my mail from my smartphone, like social networks, watch videos, use messaging, take photos, surf the internet. What the hell makes a tablet better than my smartphone besides being bigger and letting me read better? WHAT!?... those are the questions that have always tormented me, because the truth is that a laptop serves me better, it allows me to take my work everywhere, work with office automation, tinker with it whatever I want, have a keyboard and of course, program ... a tablet does not do that even in dreams, not yet.

But after spending time watching the PengPod I realized that in fact, the tablets as such are not the problem but the manufacturers and the systems they use Why? simple: you cannot buy a tablet, for example an ipad and then come and buy any usb keyboard and connect it, it must be a special one for i-things. With tablets Android It depends on the manufacturer, since many refuse to implement a damn common and current USB 2.0 input and put the micro USB or they simply do not, which although it is easier to treat than the i-things, is still a pain in the testicles pretty big. The other problem is the systems; What do we have to choose from? IOS and its immense restriction that dictates: «Either you do things the way I say, or you don't ... and you have to like it, you must adore me for that where it is quite annoying to get free apps that serve for productivity just as it is difficult to get something to program; for example:

Then we have Android, that although it is much more open, great and everything we want, it suffers from many things that IOS: There are not too many free things to be productive and many of those that exist, in fact, are not useful for a large number of things (organizers, office suites and little else ...) beyond that you will not get a real code editor or nothing really productive for the field to which I aim.

PengPod seems to be the solution, and I say it seems to be because there is still nothing concrete nor have I touched one to decide whether or not. These devices bypass the manufacturer's restrictions at the hardware level because it includes two generic USB 2.0 inputs and also an HDMI output and two types of formats: 7 and 10 inches. When we talk about hardware, both tablets have an ARM Cortex A8 mono core at 1.2 ghz and 1gb of RAM with a Mali 400 GPU, which allows it to have 3D acceleration and show high resolution videos, all for prices of $ 120 (7 inches) and $ 190 (10 inches). So above we can notice that, at least we have the possibility of skipping the blessed restrictions and being able to put what we want for the USB. This broadly allows me to put a mouse and keyboard in a small case (the 10-inch one) and turn it into a more or less powerful netbook, but of course, there is a detail missing ... the software.

Usb inputs

These devices run with a dualboot of Android y Linux as such. I had already mentioned it before but I must say that, the truth is, I don't care that I have Android because I am not looking for that, I am looking to have a true hybrid between tablet and netbook that runs with Linux. From what I have managed to see thus far they will come with Plasma Active pre-installed running on a base of OpenSuse, very successful from my point of view although I do not know how optimized it is OpenSuse to run in ARM environments, the thing is that for now apparently that's the plan. And you know what? … I like it.

I like it because if the system can really be adapted to run smoothly, I will be able to have a hybrid device in my hands that will allow me to do what I want to do: take my piece of plastic and silicon wherever I want and connect it to your keyboard, install whatever you want from the repositories (that works in ARM) and work either working or editing text or writing for FromLinux etc, I mean, what I use a tablet for. And then, if I feel like using it as a tablet just to web a little, read feeds or books, Well I do, period and that's it, it's that simple.

I do not pretend to count the birds before they hatch, nor do I want to be a futurologist, I am just saying that if it is really done as it should be, this will meet my needs and that of many others quite well. Perhaps it is not the competition of tremendous tablets nor does it have the potential that the big manufacturers have to advertise themselves, but the truth is that all that publicity is just that, because they serve me what I use to fart in a hammock; it neither smells nor sounds ...

Time will tell everything. What do you think?

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  1.   harima said

    In reality, tablets are not productive at all, but if for leisure, I have an 8 ″ one and to read manga and the occasional little game works excellent, if we add those who travel a lot (before it took me 1 hour of my home to work) watching 1 or 2 episodes of a series makes the journey more enjoyable, to read the truth that it is not much use unless they are pdf with images otherwise a kindle is better. The subject of smartphones, I have one with windows phone 7 that they give me at work but the screen does not give anything, besides the games are much better on android.

  2.   Blaire pascal said

    It looks promising, I read somewhere that it used active plasma, it must be good. And the specs too, it looks good.

  3.   Tesla said

    My opinion? They have wanted to sell us tablets left and right and now it seems that no one can live without it. (Don't take it the wrong way nano, each person is free to do what they want and to invest their money in whatever they want).

    For me, it is not a question of price, OS, or usability. A tablet today, does NOT replace a PC, far from it (as elav highlighted the other day, and as has been said in this article).

    Let me explain, tablets are designed to consume content, see books, magazines, applications, movies; Whether we like it or not, it is so. And they really come to fill a gap that simply did not need to be filled.

    1) Who wants to live all day connected to social networks, mail, etc. he has his smartphone.

    2) Who thinks that he is going to be able to read a book on a tablet, that he is asking for an appointment for the eye doctor, and also, there is not a product that does that precisely and with a screen prepared for that? The eBook.

    3) To watch movies, series and others ... we have the laptop, television, ...

    And although this tablet comes with Linux, and promises a thousand wonders, then the reality is quite another. We will not be able to install what we please since the ARM repositories are much smaller (I use ARM on the raspberry pi). And connecting a keyboard to a tablet we return to the same issue as before, there is already a product that does that, the netbook.

    Unfortunately we will all end up coming across a tablet, and perhaps in a few years the pc as we know it will have disappeared. But today, they are only trying to sell us the mobility and "comfort" that according to them a tablet provides. So that you can consume and are always connected to everything. And they also try to sell it to us as a form of leisure when the reality is that there is already a device that does that, consoles.

    Sorry for not being brief, but I had to vent. For my part, I hope to take several years to have a tablet. I am happy with my PC where I can do whatever I want and although I admit that carrying it can be somewhat annoying, there are lighter laptops that could fill the role of a tablet.

    Anyway, it's a very good article and a very respectable point of view. Although my recommendation would be a netbook rather than a tablet.

    A greeting!

    1.    helena_ryuu said

      is that everyone talking about tablets hahahahaha, it is a lot of exaggeration by everyone for this kind of devices, which even cause us insomnia and depression xD (understand the inherent sarcasm)

      I don't care what they are, if I find something useful, it works for me and now, I think the tablet can be useful as long as you find it useful, see if they give me an xbox, wii or a play station the only utility that I would find would be to sell it 😛 (I think they are excessively expensive and useless devices like those of apple xD)

      This is how today's society is: mass consumption, we work to generate the things that we then "must" have and subsequently discard to have more ... and on top of that they sell you everything more and more expensive, if something requires our complaint it would be the system economic-social…. but this blog is about technology and not about politics hahaha

      at least I'm glad that it is sold at a low price, so there will be more people using linux 😀

    2.    helena_ryuu said

      uuuuy forgive me Tesla, this comment was not to respond to you, but to the blog post, my error> _>

  4.   Charlie-Brown said

    Just today I was reading an article about an ongoing project in India that aims to provide students with tablets subsidized by the government at $ 20 USD (half of their production cost), but which in turn, that same The company will put it on sale in other markets at $ 45 USD. The most interesting, in my opinion, of what was raised in the article, is the use that they have found for these devices in the area of ​​education and as a tool to introduce IT technologies in emerging countries where the majority of the population does not have no PCs or notebooks or something similar. Anyway, that it is another useless thing, it only depends on the situation and the possibilities of the user.

    I agree with nano on some of the reasons why I would like to have one, but really what IS on my «wish list» as a priority is an e-book reader, the simpler the better, let's see if I can read in one decent screen and I can leave the iPAQ that I'm using for that and my eyesight is running out, but hey, better times will have to wait.

    To those who are interested, the link of the article to which I refer is the following:

    I really recommend it ...

  5.   scraf23 said

    I'll wait for it to be released in January and see what people think, but if I limit myself to what is written, it looks good

  6.   khourt said

    I like the idea… but as Nano says, don't count the chicks until they break the eggs… or they don't break us. Good grade !

    I would put a "+1" from Google or a "like" from FB, but tell me why we don't have those plugins ??? Wouldn't it help more to spread this content in search engines ???

  7.   tavo said

    OpenSUSE developers have been packaging for ARM devices for some time, the current 12.2 already provides support for these devices.
    They can visit the ARM portal on their site:

  8.   Adoniz (@ NinjaUrbano1) said

    Maybe this interests you at the moment only with android but with a pendrive you can put up to windows if you want XD.
    (I don't really know why to put windows on a tablet but I like to have alternatives)

    Anyway, look at this tablet at the moment there are only in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
    it comes with everything you see there.

    1.    helena_ryuu said

      heey! I have also seen it in stores here in Honduras xD

  9.   Claudio said

    If you say you can't find a real Android code editor, you don't know anything about Android

  10.   4 said

    What linux-based OS can be installed on a tablet (Asus Transformer infiniti)?

  11.   Juan Carlos said

    It seems that they are already working and distributing. Is anything else known about the results? The processor is an A10, apparently higher than planned. I am quite interested but I would like to know opinions.

  12.   Matt said

    Check out our newest product Pengpod1040, now with the ability to install and run Ubuntu Touch!

  13.   Eguzki said

    Well look, I think you have a lot of roll and say things without asserting. I have been using a Chinese Epad for more than 3 years ( ), to which I put an Android 2.1 and it can support 2.2, which has a normal USB input, to which a hub can be connected, and in which a Logitech keyboard-mouse set that I normally use on the PC works perfectly.
    Of course, I agree with you in terms of its non-productive use, something that the memo from the Spanish "president" Rajoy does not agree with, which considers it the best computer science invention that has been made.
    I have it hanging on the dining room wall to replace the paper calendar that was there before, since it also allows me to set alarms to control what I cook, write shopping notes to do, and when I connect the Wi-Fi it even serves as a radio Since reading comics I can read them almost as well (or better, because of the resolution) on the PC, and playing Zen Table ping-pong I have had enough for a long time.
    I also have a thread out there on how to install Debian ARM, but honestly, given the storage limitation, I don't know if it's worth the mess ...

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