It seems today that the naysayers were wrong: tablets have become ubiquitous. But has open source made its reach into the tablet world to the same extent it has to other areas of technology?
The early days of tablets, at least in those we'd call a part of the modern era, were dominated by the iPad; a clean, polished device, though about as closed a system as you can find. But just as had occurred in the smartphone market, iOS-based devices have steadily lost market share to Android and other operating systems. Some criticize Android for not being as open as it could be—after all, almost all Android devices ship with a large number of closed source components and applications. And many Android devices, like their iOS counterparts, are home to walled gardens of application stores, giving users restricted choice as to what applications they may download and install. But Android at its heart is still a Linux-based operating system, and its core is undeniably open source. And with third-party Android distributions, users have the choice to install a system on their Android tablet which is completely open.
There are also a number of other Linux-based tablets out there which do not rely on Android. Most any tablet computer which is capable of running an x86 version of a Windows operating system, for example, can be upgraded to a Linux distribution of your choice, with a number of graphic interface options available. Some distributions are now targeting other architectures as well.
So we're asking you: do you own a tablet? What kind? Are you satisfied with the level of openness on your platform of choice, or are still hoping for something more?