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Ask Slashdot: Tablet With Root Access By Default?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the oh-you-want-everything dept.

Handhelds 168

hweimer writes "I am looking for a small (7") tablet that comes with root access out of the box. I know, I could get one of the usual suspects and root it myself, but I don't want to waste my time in the process and end up voiding my warranty. Basically, I'd like to use it for web browsing, reading PDFs and accessing my e-mails via SSH (extra bonus for X11 forwarding). Any good suggestions, or should I wait for Tizen devices to hit the market?"

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168 comments

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n900 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136086)

I know it's a little dated, and not as fancy as other tablets, but it has everything you just asked for, along with X11 forwarding. I'd strongly suggest taking a look at it. You can even use it as a phone if you'd like. I think they are about $250 now.

Re:n900 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136292)

From TFS:

"I am looking for a small (7") tablet that comes with root access out of the box.

Re:n900 (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#38138518)

When somebody is looking for something that is rare, non-existent, hard to find or really expensive it isn't a bad thing to mention but... here is something much easier to get that is ALMOST what you are looking for...

Re:n900 (1)

slinches (1540051) | about 2 years ago | (#38138928)

It may not be the best choice for someone who has trouble with near field vision, but the resolution of the N900 is 800x480 which is the same as any of the available 7" tablets in a similar price range.

Viewsonic G-Tablet (3, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#38136124)

Still a pretty decent device considering it's over a year old now.

You don't have to root it per se, but you do want to put on VeganTab or some other ROM (which likely voids the warranty, but the device is cheap for a dual 1Ghz Tegra with a 10" screen... <$250 these days). There's no "jailbreak" step like most other devices. Just put the ROM in the right place and reboot.

The Android market works great now (very improved from the situation before!), so you can load Google Earth and just about anything else without any hassle.

Also have one of these cheap USB keyboard cases [amazon.com] for it. Even with that, it still ends up being less bulky yet more fun than my old EeePC 901.

Unfortunately, Android doesn't work great with physical keyboards yet (all kinds of focus issues, and the Ctrl key annoyingly doesn't work in ConnectBot).

Re:Viewsonic G-Tablet (4, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38136158)

The downside to the G-Tablet is the older, broken revision of the Tegra 2 silicon and the low quality TN-panel.

Re:Viewsonic G-Tablet (1)

Swarley (1795754) | about 2 years ago | (#38136534)

+1 I made the mistake of getting a G-tablet on sale from woot. Even at that discount on an already budget price, it wasn't even close to worth it. The screen is complete trash. Viewsonic used to make top notch LCD monitors. I don't know what hack shop they contracted this panel out to but it's absolutely terrible. I prefer reading on my tiny HTC Incredible screen than the much larger G-Tablet it's so bad.

Re:Viewsonic G-Tablet (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#38138564)

The Viewsonic G-Tablet or an HP Touchpad are the best tablets you can buy for the money. I still see HP Touchpad's on Ebay for under $250, far better deal than the Amazon Kindle I think.

Doesn't matter the OS (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38136132)

None. Every tablet with Android has to be rooted and vendors are working very, very hard to fight the small percentage of users that do root. The closest you can get are tablets that don't sign the kernel and allow you to customize the OS (load cyanogenmod or something) but increasingly vendors are on the attack against that (B&N clamping down on the Nook Tablet, Samsung pushing out an update that locks down the platform.)

Tizen-based devices will, thus far, simply allow for a more standard *nix platform and other ready-made and compatible distributions, but that still requires you work your way through the first line of vendor hostilities (platsec misused against you) and then the second line of vendor hostilities (proprietary, signed bootloader and possibly a checksummed kernel.)

It's extra shitty in the mobile space these days, especially for those who like to do a little more than blindly consume.

Re:Doesn't matter the OS (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#38136276)

What Samsung update are you talking about?

The only cases of updates enforcing any sort of "lockdown" that I know of is disabling nvflash mode on the Tab 10.1 (Odin mode still works fine for flashing) and implementing the "custom binary count" counter on their phones. Samsung is, if anything, very developer-friendly.

Re:Doesn't matter the OS (2)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about 2 years ago | (#38137128)

The closest you can get are tablets that don't sign the kernel and allow you to customize the OS (load cyanogenmod or something) but increasingly vendors are on the attack against that (B&N clamping down on the Nook Tablet, Samsung pushing out an update that locks down the platform.)

Uh...would that be the same Samsung that donated [phandroid.com] Galaxy S II phones to the cyanogenmod devs, so they could get it working well with the platform? What update are you talking about? They seem very friendly to the rooting and custom rom community.

Re:Doesn't matter the OS (2)

ichthus (72442) | about 2 years ago | (#38137164)

I didn't have to root my Nook Color. I booted an image from the microSD, installed Clockwork recovery and then proceeded to CM7. No rooting necessary.

Re:Doesn't matter the OS (2)

Enfixed (2423494) | about 2 years ago | (#38137542)

Same here, go for the Nook Color, get a class 10 micro SD card and live happily ever after. Cyanogen Mod works great on mine. Seriously though, you didn't list anything that would actually require root so why does it even matter?

Re:Doesn't matter the OS (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 2 years ago | (#38138458)

No, but some make it trivially easy to root their tablets. See: Amazon Fire, Asus Transformer.

Do you actually need it? (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#38136176)

None of the things that you said you want to do require root access. Web browsing, SSH, X11 forwarding, PDFs... You can do that all with an Android device without rooting. Heck, you can do that with an Apple device without jailbreaking.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 2 years ago | (#38136334)

Yep, I can attest to iPad being very useful without jailbreaking.
IF you have a bluetooth keyboard attached, since the screens a little rough to do anything beyond a short email or a small document/note.

The only time root is needed is to pwn the machine, essentially. If that's your goal, why a tablet? If you wanna hack it and write your own modules/etc then your aim is a specific operating system and not a particular tablet.

Just to end this post, I'll say I've done everything you mentioned on my iPad - minus X11 forwarding since most of the UI I use is web, console, or apple app.

Re:Do you actually need it? (3, Informative)

fusiongyro (55524) | about 2 years ago | (#38136716)

iSSH [zinger-soft.com] on the iPad can do X forwarding and VNC.

Re:Do you actually need it? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136806)

I think you guys are missing the point- wasn't this just an advertisement for Tizen devices?

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

jockm (233372) | about 2 years ago | (#38136930)

If it were that, perhaps he would have actually described them. Something the Tizen site hasn't managed to do...

Re:Do you actually need it? (5, Informative)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#38136904)

If you want to install Wireshark (Airshark?) you must have root access. For me that is the first app I want on any android device. I'm not happy unless I have a full battery of tools with which to sniff the network. Root access required.

Re:Do you actually need it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136340)

Yes, to get rid of horrible bundled apps. Or use things such has Adfree Android. Or to use Titanium Backup.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#38136380)

But those aren't listed requirements.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 2 years ago | (#38136520)

Maybe not, but getting rid of bundled apps alone is a good reason to root a device, as is getting rid of adverts.

Re:Do you actually need it? (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#38137968)

Let's just imagine you bought a car to drive to work in and go on occasional weekend trips to the countryside.

Now let's imagine, when you get the keys and enter in there's a little contract lying there which says "you can drive to work, you can have work colleagues, but if you want to drive out of town on a weekday evening then you need to pay extra and if you want to have a girlfriend in the car, that's not allowed". You'd be pissed.

The guy wants to buy a tablet which he owns not Apple. He wants to do normal stuff on it, but he doesn't, within reason, want someone else telling him what he can and can't do with it. Is that so complex? Why do we always get a bunch of Applesoft trolls coming on and telling us "oh; but you didn't say you wanted to drive around with a girlfriend". Of course he didn't. This is slashdot, he doesn't expect to get a girlfriend, but when he does get one he's not going to be happy with your restrictions. Now he'd just like to buy and own a tablet. Later he can decide what he doesn't want to do with it.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#38137336)

Don't forget Droidwall, which is the only real way to keep apps from spying on you unless you have a CM ROM with user selectable permissions built in.

Droidwall isn't great for just locking out apps, but making sure high bandwidth apps only use Wi-Fi for saving on bandwidth.

Of course, Titanium Backup is a must have as well, especially the fact that it not just stores encrypted backups... but can copy them to a Dropbox account encrypted. This also is a must have.

Want a Mac truck when a golf cart would do (1)

hellfire (86129) | about 2 years ago | (#38136402)

Exactly. This is a great example of "are you using the right tool for the right job?" Does hweimer want to actually take a tablet and start learning the innards of the software or do they just want something convenient to carry around the house or the neighborhood that does basic things? Richard Stallman makes is career and life out of using nothing but free software that he understands from top to bottom. He makes a good point but he's an extreme case. My personal advise is don't get caught up in the allure of "free" if you aren't going to take advantage of it. Android has a ton of malware available for it, so maybe it's okay to take a less rapid free software stance and just find the best tool for the best price.

But if hweimer is interested in low level hacking, then good for them, I hope they find a rooted tablet.

Re:Want a Mac truck when a golf cart would do (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#38136940)

"Richard Stallman makes is career and life out of using nothing but free software".....and scaring little kids should they behold is grand harry countenance and serious demeanor.

Re:Want a Mac truck when a golf cart would do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137010)

Android has a ton of malware available for it

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You're an idiot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136428)

I know this is going to be tough for you to understand, but do try:

Sometimes people don't know all the things they're going to need in a device before they buy it.

Crazy, I know! But for those wacky people, it's nice to have the freedom of doing whatever they'd like with their device whenever they want.

Re:You're an idiot. (4, Insightful)

Swarley (1795754) | about 2 years ago | (#38136468)

Sometimes people post in their own question about how they are capable of rooting a tablet themselves but don't want to waste the time while being perfectly happy to waste their time (much more than would be needed to actually root an android device) and the time of others with this silly question. He could have rooted a tablet 10 times over in the amount of time it will take him to get a useful response from this thread. I think that makes him an idiot.

Re:You're an idiot. (2)

migla (1099771) | about 2 years ago | (#38136868)

>He could have rooted a tablet 10 times over in the amount of time it will take him to get a useful response from this thread. I think that makes him an idiot.

But the submitter also didn't want to void their warranty by rooting, therefor asking for a device where that wouldn't be the case.

Re:You're an idiot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136936)

Yo, motherfucker! Yes, you motherfucker. You are a motherfucker, and the worst kind of motherfucker, motherfucker. You are a motherfucker who is right, motherfucker.

Re:You're an idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137392)

Ok. Maybe he should have said "Is there any non-locked down 7" tablets out there that I could get." End of story. Period.

Re:You're an idiot. (1)

jockm (233372) | about 2 years ago | (#38136670)

Maybe that is his reason for wanting the device to be rooted, maybe it isn't. He doesn't say, so it is dangerous to assume why he wants it prerooted. Maybe it is for freedom, maybe it is for flexibility (freedom isn't always flexible), maybe (as I assumed when I read the OP) he thinks his list of requirements will require the device be rooted. But the point is we don't know why he wants the device to be rooted.

And I really wish he had said. Because then we could actually answer his deeper question more accurately. Because I am not even sure he really need rooting, I suspect (but cannot prove, and thus will not assert) that he really wants the ability to side load. In which case just about any 7" Android device will do. The list of things you need to root a tablet to do isn't that large, and none of it indicated by his list of requirements.

Re:Do you actually need it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136634)

I think you are missing the point-- having administrative capability on your hardware to use it for other things down the road increases the value of the device. Sure computers and tablets different, but regarding administration I think the same is true for both. The analogy would be, 'ever have an old client computer you turned into a ______ server?'

Re:Do you actually need it? (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#38137194)

Well, with hardware warranties being so short, "down the road" puts him into the "don't have to worry about voiding the warranty" territory, which was his only stated reason for preferring a pre-rooted device.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 2 years ago | (#38136644)

If that is all he wants to do with a 7 inch tablet, why would he spend $500+ for a 10" Apple device? Too much product, too much money.

Kindle Fire. He needs sound exactly like my needs. I own the Fire, it has a lot of limitations, but they are things I don't care about. I read, I check facebook, play free games, check out gnews and y&g email, I mail myself PDFs of book (Amazon has tons of free books as well). I have no intention of BUYING books from Amazon, (I do buy other stuff from them) but I like the Fire quite well.

I also know that in a year, if I'm sick of it or want something fancier, I can easily get $100+ for the unit used, since they are not likely to drop it much in one year as it is already under cost. Seriously, the risk is pretty minimal if you can live with the limitations. Did I mention it is only $200? I've spent more than that on a night on the town in my younger days.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | about 2 years ago | (#38137334)

Are you sure that android can do X11 forwarding? I don't mean VNC. I ask because I have a touchpad dual-booting CM7. And while the touchpad side does have an X11 server available (Xserver, Xecutah), I have not yet found anything for android, and would love to be pointed in the right direction.

And while the author did specify 7", I'd just point out that the touchpad comes "rooted."

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#38137868)

Actually, you look to be right, I can't actually find any x11 servers (or SSH clients that claim to do SSH forwarding) for Android, rooted or otherwise. But that doesn't really change the point, since in this case, rooting the device isn't getting you more anyhow.

Ironic, that, since there are multiple x11 servers in the iOS app store, such as iSSH.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | about 2 years ago | (#38138098)

Yes, I was as floored by the lack of an X11 server on android as I was by the lack of an GUI SFTP client on the touchpad.

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 2 years ago | (#38138372)

You can do X11 forwarding on Android devices?

Re:Do you actually need it? (1)

hweimer (709734) | about 2 years ago | (#38138462)

I do not want to invest my time into getting familiar with a device whose artificial limitations are guaranteed to make my life miserable at some point in the future, even if it does not present an immediate problem right now. For example, one thing I didn't mention is running an OpenVPN client. That definitely requires root access.

lenovo-s10-3t (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136196)

choose your OS : meego, mer, android, win ...

Well it's not really a tablet but a tactile netbook ...

http://rzr.online.fr/q/atom

I am also looking for a opensource firmware android tablet :

http://www.androidquestions.org/threads/333-Opensource-firmware-android-tablet

Nook Color (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#38136198)

Nook Color, it boots from the CF slot first so you just put down your own OS on a CF card and should you ever have a problem you just pull the card and it's back to factory fresh.

Re:Nook Color (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 2 years ago | (#38136316)

Seconded. The Nook Color is close to perfect if you want to boot your own stuff without compromising the original firmware. I'm not really sure why more tablets/phones/androiddevices don't work this way.

Re:Nook Color (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#38136886)

Costs money and adds complication for precious little benefit.

Re:Nook Color (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38137538)

Actually it doesn't cost any money or add any complication. That comes into play when they start adding DRM and lockdown, or removing these features since this behavior is virtually ingrained into things from the ground up then stripped out.

Re:Nook Color (1)

Bapf (2514388) | about 2 years ago | (#38136338)

I just wanted to suggest the same. The only downside: The Nook has only Wifi, so on the road you'll have to use some kind of tethering.

Re:Nook Color (1)

normanjd (1290602) | about 2 years ago | (#38138362)

Slight technical correction, it uses a Micro-SD card, not a CF card... Loading up CyanogenMod7 on bootable uSD works great, and you can still use the Native OS and have not voided the warrenty...

Re:Nook Color (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#38138942)

You are correct, being an old school digital camera guy portable flash is linked in my brain to CF so even though I knew it was mSD my brain pulled up CF =)

Re:Nook Color (1)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | about 2 years ago | (#38138460)

Just remember that the Nook Color is wifi only, has no camera, and no microphone unless you use bluetooth. And as it stands right now, the bluetooth connection has a VERY limited range. Also, the mSD card you get can make or break whether or not it is stable. Your best bet is with a Sandisk class 2 or class 4 mSD card. Higher class cards lead to instability and force closes, and other brand cards can be hit-or-miss.

Archos 101 G9 (5, Informative)

BlueCoder (223005) | about 2 years ago | (#38136210)

Everything you could pretty much want. But only 16GB. Only one SD slot. Wish they had a way to upgrade the on-board flash to larger capacities. We seriously need a smaller footprint for SSD's. Would be perfect with 128gb.

You can put whatever OS you want on it and the manufacturer encourages it, it just happens to come with android which is Linux under the covers.

Re:Archos 101 G9 (2)

tiffany352 (2485630) | about 2 years ago | (#38136302)

I'm not sure about the G9, but the tablet is somewhat locked up in previous generations. But you can install the firmware from their site which unlocks it (and voids your warranty). I have a 101 G8

Re:Archos 101 G9 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136458)

Their website does mention warranty-voiding, but at least in the G8 series, and I assume G9 as well, they only mean by that that they are not responsible for software problems resulting from the unlocking. I asked Archos' tech support before unlocking my 43 G8, and they said that hardware problems will continue to be covered. I subsequently had hardware problems and they sent me a replacement with no difficulties.

Here's what I'm looking for (4, Funny)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 2 years ago | (#38136284)

"I am looking for people who know how to use google out of the box. I know, I could get one of the usual suspects and post my question on slashdot, but I don't want to waste my time in the process and end up voiding my status as being too important to look it up myself. Basically, I like to tell people I'm a power user but really I'm not. Any good suggestions, or should I ask Siri?"

Knowledgable people's opinions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136426)

Googling will get you every two bit opinion on Earth. At least by asking Slashdot, you're narrowing the two-bit opinions to an audience that would more than likely know for sure.

I once asked my brother (also in IT) his opinion on something IT related. He said, "let me google that. Here you go."

I replied, "I did that, thank you. I wanted your opinion and your experience if any."

Here's another example of where googling can be a dumb idea - car repair. If you don't know much about cars, you will be led down some expensive paths.

All google seems to get you many times is the Earth wide Peanut Gallery.

Re:Knowledgable people's opinions (1)

thejaq (2495514) | about 2 years ago | (#38136536)

If you don't know how to vet sources you get garbage. You can do this better on google than slashdot.

So how does one learn to use Google? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38137348)

If you don't know how to vet sources you get garbage. You can do this better on google than slashdot.

Yet I don't think Google for "how to vet sources" will return much relevant.

Re:Knowledgable people's opinions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136574)

And you also get flammed by the worlds largest concetration of cynic people , a bonus u cant spare

Re:Knowledgable people's opinions (1)

Sleuth (19262) | about 2 years ago | (#38136754)

I think that's my favorite part. I only read /. for technical content as part of my interest. The cynical comments are the entertainment factor.

Posting anon for obvious reasons. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137866)

Googling will get you every two bit opinion on Earth. At least by asking Slashdot, you're narrowing the two-bit opinions to an audience that would more than likely know for sure. blah. blah. blah. All google seems to get you many times is the Earth wide Peanut Gallery.

Don't kid yourself. I haven't seen much on Slashdot to convince me that it is much different. Only here, the average person thinks they're smarter than average. There is even a poll to prove it. G'head - take a look for yourself. That's Slashdot for ya in a nutshell.

The truth hurts. Best to bury this post by modding me a troll.

Posting anon for obvious reasons.

Re:Posting anon for obvious reasons. (1, Funny)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#38138962)

Posting anon for obvious reasons.

Yes, it's obvious. It's right in the name: Anonymous Coward

Re:Here's what I'm looking for (1)

iceaxe (18903) | about 2 years ago | (#38137624)

OK, that's funny.

But...

The point of these is not so much for the person asking the question to get The Best Answer (tm) but rather to spark an interesting discussion which many will enjoy and possibly learn from. Over the years I've learned a TON of useful or entertaining things from Ask Slashdot discussions, many of which I would never have known to ask about in a google search or otherwise.

From this discussion I've already learned about Tizen [tizen.org] which I had never heard of before today. I also enjoyed a few more bits of discussion about the Nook Tablet which I'm considering purchasing.

So I'm glad the question got asked, even if it wasn't the best way for the asker to get an answer.

ASUS Transformer TF101 (5, Informative)

masterpiga (1590499) | about 2 years ago | (#38136296)

I cannot speak for the upcoming Transformer Prime, but its predecessor TF101 can be rooted extremely easily (no time wasted here).
OTA updates keep working and the rooting can easily be undone (actually, the device gets automatically un-rooted every time you do an OTA update).
The super simple rooting procedure is discussed here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1198303 [xda-developers.com]
You basically just download a jar to your computer, connect the tablet via USB and follow the instructions on screen. It takes less than 5 minutes. I cannot guarantee that it does not invalidate the warranty, but I would say it doesn't.

huh? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 2 years ago | (#38136328)

What tablet needs root access to use a web browser, check email, read pdfs, or use SSH?

Re:huh? (2)

tiffany352 (2485630) | about 2 years ago | (#38136344)

One running windows, obviously. [/bad joke]

Re:huh? (1)

peterbye (708092) | about 2 years ago | (#38136978)

All of them if you want to run an ssh daemon on port 22

Re:huh? (1)

aesiamun (862627) | about 2 years ago | (#38137768)

He never said run an SSH daemon. He wants to ssh into a machine and read email.

SmartQ 7 ~600 MHz ARM Ubuntu tablets (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136372)

I had good experiences with this $200 SmartQ 7 7" tablet which I got 3 years ago (for $200). Runs an Ubuntu build that's mostly in english; apt-get did everything i needed to get my remote desktop on. I don't have a Nook so I'm not sure how it compares.

The supplier I used seems to be out of stock, but presumably there are others:
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/smartdevices-smartq-7-7-0-touchscreen-linux-mid-internet-tablet-667mhz-cpu-wifi-bluetooth-1gb-27904

Re:SmartQ 7 ~600 MHz ARM Ubuntu tablets (2)

RecycledElectrons (695206) | about 2 years ago | (#38136538)

I recommend the slightly newer V7 over the older Q7.

Also SmartDevices has a number of even newer tablets, but they are single-boot. (R7, T7, Ten)

I root because I can! (2, Insightful)

macwhizkid (864124) | about 2 years ago | (#38136376)

"web browsing, reading PDFs and accessing my e-mails via SSH"

Yes, if only there were a single tablet on the market that didn't require rooting to do such complicated tasks as web browsing, reading PDFs, or even [android.com] a [google.com] single [apple.com] SSH [apple.com] client [google.com] .

Look, I'm all in favor of individuals having control of their devices. But I'm pretty sure there's a reason nobody sells a rooted tablet that does exactly the same things as everyone else's tablets. If you can't even answer why you need root access, don't expect to find a product that will.

Re:I root because I can! (1)

RecycledElectrons (695206) | about 2 years ago | (#38136416)

It's MY tablet. I will have root access. I will boycott companies who try to deny me that control.

Re:I root because I can! (2)

djsmiley (752149) | about 2 years ago | (#38136628)

Its not yours til you brought it.

You haven't brought it because you don't have root.

A win for a manufacturer who doesn't have yet another person hacking in their electrons!

Re:I root because I can! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38136892)

bwaaaaaaaaaa bwaaaaaaaa first world problems!

Re:I root because I can! (2)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#38137056)

It's MY tablet. I will have root access. I will boycott companies who try to deny me that control.

That's perfectly OK by the manufacturer.

Re:I root because I can! (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 2 years ago | (#38138550)

Great. Root it. Apple isn't denying you being able to root your tablet. They're simplying not supporting rooted tablets, which seems pretty damn fair, all things considered.

SSH client or SSH server? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#38137410)

As for SSH, please see peterbye's comment [slashdot.org] .

archos (2)

codegen (103601) | about 2 years ago | (#38136384)

Its been a while since I checked, but Archos used to make a complete source dump with build instructions for you to rebuild the version of android they use. They use an older 2.2 version, but they seem to be relatively hacker friendly.

Tizen . . . ? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#38136498)

Any good suggestions, or should I wait for Tizen devices to hit the market?

I haven't seen much from Tizen beyond their initial press release. And, yes, I subscribe to their mailing list. So I would speculate that it is all chartware at the moment. Maybe we will see a Tizen SDK next year sometime. And maybe even devices in 2013. Or maybe, like Maemo and MeeGo before it, just before it is ready to go prime time . . . someone will say, "Hey, let's give it a new name and start all over again, yippee!"

MeeGoo is already alive and kicking on the Nokia N9. It's a lot of fun having a cell phone that you can VNC to, mount with SSHFS, etc. Is all this necessary? No, but it's fun.

Re:Tizen . . . ? (1)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#38136610)

I haven't seen much from Tizen beyond their initial press release. And, yes, I subscribe to their mailing list.

I keep an open connection on their IRC channel pretty much 24/7. There's lots of people (or bots) on there but not much activity. Hopefully that means they're busy, not dead.

All tablets and phones got root access by default (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#38136532)

All tablets and phones got root access by default. It just isn't you. But "they" got access.

Remember, mobile devices are like Windows 95. Lets share!

Vizio 8" or Lenovo Ideapad A1: both $200 (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 2 years ago | (#38136600)

Costco is selling the Vizio 8 for $189. Go to slickdeals.net, and you can probably find an A1 for $199.

9" but still root (4, Informative)

Pheonix28 (1362095) | about 2 years ago | (#38137068)

it is 9" but he HP Touchpad doesn't have to be rooted. Simply enter developer mode ( just type webos20090606) and you've got root access. If not for poor decision making by execs and poor advertising more people would understand just how much you can do with WebOS and the touchpad.

Re:9" but still root (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137694)

Good luck getting an HP touchpad for a decent price...

Plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137134)

Check out mcbub.. they have tons of generic tablets of various quality in the sub $200 range. I don't know about pre-rooted though. /not affiliated with mcbub

Chinese tablet manufacturers (1)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#38137168)

There's a ton of them and they make all kinds of 7" tablets. Some of them aren't bad and are what you're buying when you get re-branded tablets from various manufacturers. You might be able to convince them to sell you just one for a trial if they think you are an OEM company planning on selling them to consumers under your own brand. Or if you can get 50 people together to go in on them and share the shipping cost to qualify for a minimum trial order.

Seems like a major PITA to me but hey, they're unlocked out of the gate.

Check this one out for example [benton-cn.com] . The good thing about doing this is, you're working directly with the manufacturer and have all the control over the software on the device that you desire.

Re:Chinese tablet manufacturers (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | about 2 years ago | (#38137400)

Check this one out for example [benton-cn.com]. The good thing about doing this is, you're working directly with the manufacturer and have all the control over the software on the device that you desire.

The spelling errors alone on that page screams worthless Chinese knockoff.

Re:Chinese tablet manufacturers (1)

killmenow (184444) | about 2 years ago | (#38137976)

Well that particular company may not be a good one to go with. I just used them as an example.

Re:Chinese tablet manufacturers (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38137438)

Sure, but you'll never get the sources for the kernel so you'd better -really- like the software that comes on it by default.

HP Touchpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137318)

HP Touchpad comes with root out of the box. Simply enter the root password "webos20090606 ". PDF reading sucks due to the lack of a search function but the community is working to get that fixed.

Archos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137420)

Archos G8 and likely G9 tablets provide manufacturer assistance to load linux as an optional operating system.

ROOTING DOES NOT VOID THE WARRANTY (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137492)

Not the warranty you actually care about, anyway. Even if you root the software, that only voids the software warranty. The hardware is still covered under any applicable warranty. If the piece of junk falls apart in your hands after you rooted it, there is nothing preventing you from sending it back for a replacement. Flash the software back to stock if you are paranoid about it. The manufacturers and carriers don't give you root by default because the average person would fuck up their device if they had root access. Not giving you root limits their liability so they dont have to replace devices because some dumbass fubared his /system partition. If you can root, then you can also learn how to fix the damn software yourself. It becomes your own responsibility. Fixing defective hardware is always the manufacterer's responsibility, unless you modded the hardware. See Magnusson-Moss warranty act [wikipedia.org]

chinese tablets pre rooted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38137604)

If you don't mind a 7" with 800x480 there's one out called a "ZT-280 C71" which goes for about $139.

It has a single cortex A9 (AMLogic 8726 w/mali 400) @800MHz, 512MB ram, 4GB flash with microsd, hdmi and usb host ports.
Latest firmware is CM7.

Orders will be shipped directly from china.

Another popular model for a bit more is the renesas with a dual cortex A9 @ 1GHz with SGX530. Other specs still similar.

Always Innovating Smartbook (1)

Splintercat (1703448) | about 2 years ago | (#38137854)

What about the Always Innovating Smartbook? It's 8.9 inches, but it comes with root access by default, and it runs both ubuntu and android.
http://alwaysinnovating.com/products/smartbook.htm [alwaysinnovating.com]

The only downside is that I don't know how long it'll be from when you put in your order to when you get it. The upside is that if you spring for it, you get a device that can be a pocket computer, a tablet, and a laptop.

Pre-rooted tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38138164)

If you really want openness and configurability, you should go with Apple. They really make a point of allowing tweaks.

cordia tab (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38138572)

There are people trying to achieve this but is is hard. http://cordiatab.com/
The economies of scale make opensource hardware difficult. even worse if you are competing against companies that can sell tablets at a loss, to encourage sales of apps/music/books.

you should also have a look at the openmoko project (and the new GTA04) and openpandora, which are not to far from a tablet. neither achieved the super success of projects like beagleboard or arduino.

and there is this http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/06/ekoore-announce-two-new-tablets-running-ubuntu-11-04/ but i have not heard of anyone who has one.

Not Android (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38139080)

I own a 10" Android tablet and a Nokia N800 "Internet Tablet" of about 4.5" from 2007. Guess which is more useful? The Nokia.

The only problems I have with the Nokia are:
* Physical screen size - 800x480 is fine, but 4.5" is tough to read
* No good keyboard - I have an iGo BT keyboard
* 128MB RAM.
* Missing a few apps that I'd like - QR code reader.

That's it.
I like the 2 SDHC memory slots.
I like the replaceable battery. 10 days of standby time.
I like the debian-based Maemo.
I like the shell.
I like Skype, SIP, Flash, and a few games.
I like that things I expect to work do ... ssh, VNC, xterms, email, calendaring, bluetooth, GPS, mapping, podcatcher, music, books on tape ....
I like that I'm not tracked using any of these apps.
I like that I've **never** bought any after-market software for it.
I like that it was $220 in 2007.

The Android tablet runs 3.2, has 1GB RAM, 720p, USB, miniUSB, microSDHC. I bought an after market case+USB keyboard that let's me touch type. It still sucks. Maemo works the way I expect, Android does not. I don't know how to say this any clearer. Google fucked up Android when they left the "GNU" off and forced java onto us all. Java sucks for desktop apps. We've known this for over a decade and it is still completely true.

The only thing that I find better on the Android device is reading an ebook. Getting an ebook on the device sucks when compared to Maemo, but the actual reading is nicer. Every other app convinces me that it is wasting my bandwidth for either ads or some other privacy-sucking thing I don't want. I use Airplane mode constantly. I'm glad I didn't buy this device. It was provided by work. Oh, the built-in Android GPS sucks. It doesn't find satellites quickly - I've driven for 20 minutes before it locked as I turned into a parking garage. The external GPS on the N800 rocks. If something better comes along, I buy that and tether it to the N800 - no big deal.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm looking for a 7" tablet to replace the N800. Something that runs Debian, has USB, WiFi, SDHC (not mini, micro), and can tether to multuple BT devices like a GPS would be nice. HDMI out is oversold. My Android tablet has this, I have a cable and I give presentations using HTML-based slides, yet I still take a laptop with me. Android sucks when you expect just a little more.

Maemo ruined me for all other portable devices, especially now that mine is completely setup with how I work.

HP Touchpad. (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | about 2 years ago | (#38139092)

See other poster above. Put it in developer mode. Viola. Busybox terminal simply by connecting with novaterm.

Step 2: Add preware
Step 3: Add ssh, whatever other fun optware stuff you want, etc. For example, I run bash, openvpn, privoxy (who needs the built in web browser to support ad blocking when you can add privoxy and iptables rules?)

If you don't like doing everything with webos apps, you can run an ubuntu environment.

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