This morning while making notes in my paper notebook, I started day dreaming… wouldn’t it be cool if I could replace this notebook with a Tablet PC? I do currently own a Tablet PC, an ageing LG LT20 Tablet PC, but its too big for what I want.
(In the famous words of the Top Gear Hosts) How hard could it be?
Now if I was to truly embrace the Top Gear way of doing things I would retreat to my workshop and take large over sized power tools to a MSI Wind or EeePC and hack together something that looks like it belongs on a scrap heap and that ends up a rather big cock-up and blows up in a large fire ball.
But seriously, how hard could it be to build something like this? I’m not looking for a convertible tablet, I want what is commonly referred to as a “Slate PC”. I don’t want a touch screen, those are useless for writing on, I want a Wacom style tablet that I can write on.
Basically what you do is take an EeePC or MSI Wind, preferably the Wind its better spec’d and has a bigger screen, remove the keyboard put a Wacom Graphics Tablet behind the screen and glue it down upside down where the keyboard used to be and presto! you have a Slate PC. Well perhaps its not that easy, you probably have to make the class that you’re writing on a little stronger and scratch resistant, and if you want it to look great you’ll have to re-make the case but its still possible.
The instant-on problem could be solved by some sort of fast booting variant of Linux like SplashTop. Of course you would need some kind of nice software to take the notes in, at the moment the best software for Windows is undoubtably Microsoft OneNote, unfortunately there isn’t anything that I know of that even comes close to it on Linux or any other platforms… but that’s a fixable problem, you just need to throw developers and maybe some money at it.
This kind of thing has been done before, check out the ModBook which is a Apple MacBook that has been modified into a Tablet PC, and I’m sure some hardware hacker has done it too and posted it on the net somewhere.