Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tablet PC or Custom BeagleBoard portable PC

We are coming to a new age of computers. Tablet computers are becoming more prevalent in 2010. When I think about how far computers have come over the years, it still amazes me. The first computers would take up a whole room, and over the years they've gotten smaller, faster, more powerful, and can now hold so much data. One really amazing thing is that smart phones, whether it be an Android phone, iPhone, or any other smart phone, these phones are faster, more powerful and hold a lot more data than those monstrosities of old.
I built my first custom desktop PC about 3 years ago, and it's been great. All of my parts for my build were purchased from and, and a few goodies from CompUSA, before they closed. My total build time was a few hours, and it's been the best desktop I've ever owned. I don't have anything against the big brand computer companies, they have some great things out there. The thing about the big brand companies, is sometimes you end up with extra stuff you may not need. With a custom build computer, you can put everything you want in it, and you won't be left with stuff you don't want or need.

My custom built desktop PC is not the only computer I own. I also have a Toshiba Satellite A215-S7437 Laptop. It's done well for the most part. When I bought it, it came with Windows Vista Home Premium Edition. I had a few problems when it was running Vista. I had to do a couple system rebuilds, but recently I installed Windows 7, and I have yet to have any more problems. I also added more ram to my laptop, I have 4GB total with 3.5GB usable, because I'm running a 32Bit version of Windows 7.  Windows 7 is great, it's almost the same as Vista, but it runs more smoothly. I use my laptop the more than my desktop, but even with the laptop I find that, I still want something with more portability.

I've been reading a lot about tablet PCs, and I think that this would be a great device to have. I was thinking about getting a netbook, but I want something mainly for web browsing, but small enough to use while laying down. A netbook is small and light, but it is still just a miniature laptop, and would be awkward to use in the  way I want to use it. I'm also looking for something less expensive than a laptop or netbook. I browsing online a while back and I came across a write up about the 2010 CES convention and all of the Tablet PCs and tablet PC prototypes that where there this year. One in particular stood out to me. Freescale Semiconductor had a prototype for a Tablet PC with a $200 starting price tag. I saw this as a great device and well within my price points.
Another neat device I came across online is the beagleboard single board computer. When I saw this, it quickly gained a spot on my possibilities list. The beagleboard is a fully functioning PC on a single computer board, utilizing an SD card for the harddrive. There are many components that can be added, to create a custom mini mobile computer, such as an acrylic enclosure and LCD Touchscreen kit.
The problem that I'm currently facing is deciding which device I want to go with. I really like the Freescale Tablet PC but I'm not sure if or when it will be available for sale. I love the idea of the beagleboard, and I'm itching for another custom build, but this custom build comes with I higher price tag than I'm willing to pay at this time, this may be a future project. My solution for now is, I've decided that I may purchase an ARCHOS 7 Home Tablet it's a small tablet that runs the Google Android OS, and it also has a price tag of around $200. The ARCHOS 7 Home Tablet will serve my purpose, and is a good price.


1 comment:

  1. Far more talented than I for building your own computer. But yeah, I love windows 7 too. :-)