Rich Mingin (PLUG) on 9 Sep 2015 16:13:45 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Cheap x86 Windows tablet?

Surface 3 Pro is a somewhat-standard-ish Core i5/i5/i7 PC, and while it's possible to put Linux on it (there's an arch-surface3 mailing list I follow), it's far from issue-free, there are long lists of gotchas and sorta-working items. It's also actively hostile to booting non-MS OSes, via the UEFI and the difficulties in disabling Secure Boot.

Surface 3 (not Pro) is Core M based, not ARM, and it has the same pros and cons as the Surface 3 Pro, plus the additional con of less testing and development having been done because it's newer.

The Surface and Surface 2 (not Pro, not Surface 3) were ARM-based, ran Windows RT, and have nearly zero chance of running Linux. They're also the only Surface devices I'd call "cheap".

If you'd like to try your hand at putting Linux onto a tablet device, I've been looking at these, they're via Microcenter so you can give it a shot for two weeks and then return for full refund.

Being Acer, they're not as high spec or high build quality as a Microsoft gadget, but they're infinitely more likely to meet your goals of running Linux smoothly, IMO.

On Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 5:34 PM, Anthony Martin <> wrote:

Surface pro is technically a computer in tablet form. I believe it's a x86_64 processor. The lower end surface I think is arm and you may be able to get something like Arch Linux ARM on it(I would talk to Jason Plum about that one).

On Wed, Sep 9, 2015, 5:26 PM Keith C. Perry <> wrote:
I don't have any experience with this but it looks like someone got it going on a Surface Pro.  I don't remember that being a "cheap" model but it makes me think that it is probably possible.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
Owner, DAO Technologies LLC
(O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Greg Helledy" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 9, 2015 5:12:58 PM
Subject: [PLUG] Cheap x86 Windows tablet?

The recent discussion of falling phone prices got me thinking of
something else:  my "around the house" laptop is really old and for
light-duty use a tablet might be more convenient.  It seems like the
prices for Windows 8 tablets are coming down now.

How easy is it likely to be to install linux on a Win 8 tablet?  Any
recommendations on models to consider?  Also, I really want a keyboard.
  It seems like a bluetooth keyboard with a separate battery is going to
add hassle; is that true (should I limit my search to tablets that come
with detachable keyboards) or are bluetooth keyboards ok?

Greg Helledy
GRA, Incorporated
P:  +1 215-884-7500
F:  +1 215-884-1385
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