I'd really like to believe this (and thus justify getting one), but I can't picture it. How would one prop up the screen? What keyboards are available and are they any good?
I feel like Apple has reached a local maximum with the iPad as a consumption-oriented device and I'm just waiting to see who delivers the first tablet geared towards getting things done. MS appears to be promising this with Surface, but it remains to be seen how successful they are.
To anyone on HN who has used an Android tablet for productivity purposes (writing, coding, etc), how has it gone?
A keyboard is a must have for anyone with a tablet imho. But maybe it's just me, I can't take touch keyboards seriously. How the hell do you guys live without arrow keys?
With regard to IDEs, I'm not really familiar with Android and I naively assumed that one would readily be able to install native Linux apps like vim, but Googling around I discovered this is not trivial. That's a shame.
The big problem of using Android for serious work is mostly software, not hardware. You can use pretty much any great keyboard you'd want. But the software is still lacking some features you'd expect from a linux desktop. For example, you can't just ctrl-z at every app. It's kind of inconsistent, some apps don't support keyboards at all. I stopped using Firefox on android because it sucks with a keyboard. If you really, really want to do serious work on a tablet, I'd dual boot linux like others recommended.
So in the hardware side, tablets are already pretty good for working. But android still lacks a bit. But if you already own an Android tablet, then buying a keyboard is a must-have imo. It will enable to do thinks you only dreamed of before.
If you think you'll use the keyboard occasionally, then choose a tablet stand that suits your style, from EBay or http://s.dealextreme.com/search/tablet+stand
That is called a laptop
Although, of course, being as full featured as Eclipse is a long way off, I imagine.
I'm not an EMACS user, so I can't comment on ALT.
I understand that no one wants to risk making larger tablet, out of a fear that it will be too heavy, but each generation has brought us thinner, lighter devices. I'd gladly take an 11.6" screen over the current standard of 9-10 even if it added an extra couple of ounces.
Having said that, at least one Android maker has built one with a 13" screen.
My hands are too wide to set all of my fingers on the home row in a natural typing position, so I was forced to look at the keyboard and to use a hybrid-touch / hunt and peck method on all of these devices. For this reason, I personally don't find them usable. I don't think my hands are freakishly large, so I think that many other people would have this same issue.
I looked around for the 13" tablet. I had never heard of it before but apparently it's a Toshiba.
My dream Apple tablet would use the iSlate trademark for 20" tablet (3x4) with optional tools that communicate with the iSlate. Something like a fake airbrush that acts like a real airbrush in paint programs. Not going to happen, but it would be an amazing canvas.
There are pleny of decent bluethooth keyboards that should work with any tablets out there. http://www.rapoo.com/showdetails.aspx?P_No=E6300 for example
This sounds like the domain of ultrabooks. With a tablet, you can't use the huge ecosystem of PC software. You can't run VMs. Peripherals aren't as well-supported.
The main advantage of a tablet over an ultrabook is that you can use it standing up. But if you're getting things done, it's probably going to be sitting down.
Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of tiny laptops. I got the 11" Air when it first came out and never looked back.