The Perfect Tablet & Portable Monitor?

Linux (Pop! OS 22.04 LTS) on a Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Jeremy Cheng

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Tablets and portable monitors have become quite popular in the recent years as the demand for portability has increased especially for those who are always on the go. The dream of being able to read digital documents on an almost paper thin device anywhere or having a secondary monitor attached to your laptop even when you are at a coffee shop without breaking your back carrying it around is now a reality. They are really great solutions for digital nomads and people that can get most of their work done on a phone but would prefer larger screen real estate. These devices are also perfect for enhancing small scale (1–3 people) face-to-face presentations by removing the need to shuffle your laptop around as you speak.

However, I have personally always struggled to spend my money on them because they respectively have limitations that make the “dollar spent” to “value” ratio not worth it for me especially since I always have a thin and light, yet powerful laptop with me most of the time. Sure, I can’t read digital documents in a vertical orientation comfortably and sure, I won’t be able to reference development docs or watch a youtube video on the side while I am doing real work on the main laptop screen but at the end of the day, to get these two products with decent quality is a big hole in my pocket and what’s even more of a problematic issue is that I will then have 2 more devices to add to the tool bag that I carry around with me all the time which is far from desirable. Furthermore, as someone that prefers to have a little bit of control over customizability, privacy and security while being on Linux full-time on my computers, it’s hard to accept bringing on a device running Android or iOS and God forbid, Windows. My phone has Calyx OS and others rave about GrapheneOS but these OS’s have a limited hardware selection which does not include tablets as far as I can tell. There also dosen’t seem to be any good tablets that can let you run ARM based Linux OS’s either besides a soon to launch product called Fydetab Duo and maybe JingPad A1 (might no longer be around) which I…

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