Using a Tablet as a Laptop Replacement

So close...

I’ve been using a tablet as a laptop replacement for the past week. These are my thoughts concerning my experiences with the current state of Android on a ThinkPad Tablet.

The feature of my typical Linux laptop I missed the most on Android were floating windows. Android makes you focus on a single task, for better or worse when considering your work flow. I often reference documentation and articles when I’m working on a new project or a complex issue. This work flow doesn’t carry over well to Android.

One pleasant surprise when moving to Android was a dramatic step up in battery life. In addition, my wireless connection at work seems to be a lot more stable. This really trimmed back my anxiety when working on the go, because I knew I had access to the information I needed on the network, and I didn’t need to carry around a power cord all day.

The typing experience is fantastic as I would expect on a ThinkPad device. One disappointing experience with this ThinkPad Tablet was the Control key on the keyboard case. I found that I was unable to process your typical Control+C, Control+D combinations required when running utilities like ping or tmux on a remote Linux server. I almost had a work around for this limitation with the Terminal IDE app, but it wasn’t a perfect solution. Without this functionality, this tablet can’t be considered a viable replacement for my day to day laptop.

I was able to install a Debian chroot on my tablet using the Lil Debi application. The Control key issue was still present, but it was really neat running apt-get on an Android tablet. If I could figure out how to install Debian on this tablet, with the Control key issue resolved, this device would be my primary device.