Could This Be the Perfect Linux Tablet?

It’s easy enough to build a desktop computer to your exact specifications, because standardization and modular components make it simple to pick and choose what you want. But that isn’t possible in any kind of practical way for laptops, smartphones, or tablets. That’s largely due to size constraints, and means you just have to hope that some manufacturer is making exactly what you want. Unfortunately, they rarely do. That’s why user Prof. Fartsparkle is on a quest to design the perfect modular, open source Linux tablet.

Despite their rather silly user name, Prof. Fartsparkle seems to be taking this project very seriously. DLT (Damn Linux Tablet) One is still early in development, but a lot of work has already been done. The goal is to create a powerful tablet that can run full desktop Linux distros, and that is modular so it can be built to an individual user’s specs or upgraded down the line. To do that, the DLT One will use a SoM (System on Module) that contains most of the important hardware, like the processor and RAM. That will be attached to a carrier board, and theoretically different carrier boards can be designed for specific SoM chips and swapped out.

The first carrier board, which Prof. Fartsparkle has already created a prototype of, uses the NVIDIA Jetson Nano SoM. That has a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 MPCore processor, a dedicated NVIDIA GPU, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and consumes just 5–10 watts of power. In testing, everything on the carrier board works with the exception of the DisplayPort. Once that kink is worked out, the rest of the hardware design will begin. That will likely focus on adding compatible peripherals, like an LCD display, and making sure they can all fit in a compact package. This project is a pretty massive undertaking, and it probably won’t be finished anytime soon. But it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on if you want a truly open Linux tablet.

Could This Be the Perfect Linux Tablet? was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: Could This Be the Perfect Linux Tablet?
Author: Cameron Coward