Tablet/PC desktop universality on Zorin

Hey, peoples. It seems like tablet-hybrids is the big deal. Google going for it, Microsoft is going for it. People are starting to use them for work, people already use tablets a lot.

So it seem to me that tablet-hybrids are rapidly about kill the laptop.

This puts Linux at an interesting angle, particurarly as Linux isn't any leaing performer in the mainstream consumer culture. Linux for a long time has been mainly focused on PC, having some features making it workable on a tablet as well as having some small dedicated projects like ubuntu touch which is neat although looks a little funny.

A scary thought - looking aside from the Steamdeck possible being the platform to push a floodgate of people to linux - is that if Linux isn't ahead of the game it could become irrelevant in the tablet-hybrid scene if the community and projects aren't careful.

And a key direction is having desktop invironments designed with universality between tablet and PC in mind. That's the whole deal with Windows 11 to me at least.

I haven't gotten around to fully test Zorin16 on a tablet, but Zorin15 is pretty neat although not perfect. But I imagine ZorinOS being the flagship distro to possibly embrace this direction, particurarly when it's made to mirror the windows user experience somewhat.

But what I am really leading this to is that I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts on the subject. Like, what does this mean for Linux? Does Zorin16 do this job well? What could be done better? What makes good desktop universality? What are cool featutes that haven't been done for universality that haven't been done before?

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Tablet computers are fine for basic browsing and simple tasks or tasks which are specific and needing mobility.

But many users still need the power of a Desktop PC, be it for gaming, work - data keeping, engineering, design, writing and word processing... The WorkBench is still in high demand.
There may be some threat to Linux should the general market trend shift heavily toward Tablet Computers but... that is not as likely at this time. If there are some serious advances in how tablets work- then it could be more viable.

That said, ZorinGroup has been working on an ARM version for quite a while. It appears that Zorin OS 16 was quite a Hit, so the ZorinGroup must prioritize the help desk for Pro Users for a while- but I am sure that in short order, they will be back to work on ARM.

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I do see your point sofastrangler. You must keep in mind the limitations that those devices put on users as well.

Sure i have grown with computers, into the mobile arena that it currently resides (i am even mostly in the forum by way of my phone, of all things). But their limitations on processing, storage and upgradability have all come short of desktops. Laptops are just now reaching the power and expandability of desktops, but are still limited. Heading in the more mobile direction lessens both of these and restricts what can be accomplished.

There are many hurdles facing technology, but the likelihood of mobile making the desktop irrelevant is far from one.

On a side, mobile has helped keep people in touch, always connected. This allows people to get things accomplished, as i an now, with little effort or needing to be any specific place. But if I'm working on my app or trying to do multiple things at once, i turn to my laptop for the speed and power. I can't type 60wpm on here, may spend a half hour trying to get out what I've already thought over again and again in order to type it here. Has this really improved my productivity, or even improved my life in some way? Just because i can answer immediately, it may be more prudent to be in a better environment with the ability to access other applications and knock this response out faster.

Should they, yes and they are looking at possibilities. Will they, who knows. The Zorin Group has to keep in mind the amount of people on such devices, whether emerging technologies will replace it quickly and how long it takes to develop Zorin for the architecture and interface. Mobile is changing more quickly than desktops or laptops, without a base to work from (zorin is based on Ubuntu with many improvements), two people may not be able to keep up with the changes and keep the desktop/laptop versions stable and secure.

We will have to wait and see.

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Well said.
The weaknesses in mobile include breakability with replacability or repairability- longevity.
The other is the limitation of the process. For example, a Text message can be used to confirm a meeting time or exchange quick information. But a tablet is not the right tool for composing your thesis, the office presentation, a cover letter or an article.
You can peck at the screen for a short burst of txt spk, but you cannot write a resume on one. Not with any practicality. In a pinch, if absolutely must do so, you could do it. But it would be a painstaking process.

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This doesn't mention CAD, software development, accounting and many other professions that would be drastically changed in the negative way in order to accomplish these tasks.

Would you really want to attempt to assemble 32 tracks in an audio software on a 12 inch screen, or watch a movie edited strictly on your phone?

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To clarify, tablet hybrids are PC grade tablets that has a connectible keyboard that makes you able to both use it as a laptop or a tablet. But the defining feature is that it has a touchscreen that will be in prevalent use.

If these tablet-hybrids become what everyone has, and it seems so based on how a lot of companies put their money into this. Microsoft fully going into it with their surface products and a new windows version with a desktop designed towards working great as both a tablet and PC. These Surface products are so powerful that you can do most work-related stuff on them, even media-production.

It will lead to that Linux can feel subpar or behind the curve. But it's up to Zorin or other Linux projects to decide what they want to go for. But I think it's an interesting subject and is a thing that I'm exploring right now using linux on my own surface device that I bought because of this exact same train of though.

I think the term "Niche market" applies.

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Thank you for clarifying, but i see this as a personal opinion. Microsoft has moved hardware and os to the back burner and is focused more on micro-services (software as a service, hardware as a service, storage as a service, desktop as a service). This change may eventually make OS's as we know it obsolete.

Yes, it is a good idea for the Zorin Group to consider making installs for such devices easier and be able to support their features, but again, for two people this can be daunting. It is their option to support such a direction.

My arguments are for your comment that this is the direction of technology. I do understand your preference for such a device, and you bought one because of that. That is not everyone's mindset. Personally, i don't need a touch screen because it provides no benefit that a keyboard and mouse already provides.

We will have to wait and see the direction that the Zorin Group decides.

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You make me scratch my head lol

Edit: Not meant to be rude, just felt out of place. And I'd like to make clear that this is not a feature request, I just opened a thread to discuss the subject of desktop universality. Personally I find Zorin very usable on a tablet as is and I'm pretty content with it as it is.

Microsoft realized they were losing funds and support by the customers due to the ease and availability of Google docs and the many services included in aws. There has been some mention in the news, but when searching for help desk positions and learning development, this became all to clear.

The only thing not really being addressed is if the net goes down, as I'm sure you have seen the scramble that Sony, bungie and many others perform when their servers or network fail.

Online is great, you reach most of the people, but it isn't infallible and it doesn't reach everyone.

Sure, it makes os cost drop, but a standalone copy of software is far more reliable. I'm sad to see everything moving toward the internet. Especially since the government, though saying it's a necessity, refuses to step on any isp and make network access affordable for all. Sure, the stipend of requiring permitted access at low bandwidth is a step in the right direction, but it is a limited offer, a bandaid, for the issue of access. It's far from a long term solution.

Yeah, I'm thinking in the long run. The tablet-hybrids are not taking over things next year, but we see a big move towards that and general consumers are also opting that way. It makes the device more universal in use, and in schools tablets are already a mainstay instead of school laptops. The tablets in use usually are ipads or chrome devices.

With regards to universality I think it's a good move strategically over having tablet specific linuxes as it makes a lower bar of entry. And by lower bar of entry is that there is more of a chance that people will try it as it's closer in experience and you have more chances to think about it. But this is more of a direction for a flagship linux like Ubuntu, Zorin and Elementary. Doesn't matter that much with smaller ones.

It also makes it more possible that the flagship linux gets used in the mainstream as it's more likely that let's say Ubuntu is used on the majority of devices and has brand recognition.

But to me it's just interesting to think about what would make a good universal desktop for tablet and PC. Does gnome do it right or does ubuntu touch do it right. When it comes to ubuntu touch I think it looks and works very unprofessional and wonky although it can be practical. Windows 11 is a good path, and I think gnome has been ahead of the game for some time now.

Incidentally a friend of mine is working on a game engine/editor designed for being used on a tablet because he is looking at the trend of gaming towards mobile and tablets.

It will be interesting to see. I haven't had the possibility to try Zorin16 on a tablet, but I've tried zorin15. It has some wonkyness, scaling problems for the virtual keyboard, having to customize the touch settings for a better browsing experience. But I think it's overall good, but as Zorin kind of markets itself towards tablets it will be interesting to try zorin16 and see where the zorin project takes things.

I like to check against reasonable statistics when I can, so as to approach a talking point with less ignorance of my own.
But net searches I have done yield no statistics that demonstrate that both industry and consumers are veering toward tablet or tablet hybrids.
I can find some opinion pieces that promote tablet hybrids, but that is certainly not a qualifier. Do you mind if I ask what it is you are using to base your statement on?

I did find a few articles that certain schools in certain cities have opted for tablet hybrids. This makes a lot of sense:

  • They are low power.
  • They are portable.
  • They are simple.
  • They cost less than a larger, heavier and more powerful notebook.

To a school, they do not need the students having Powerful (and distracting) computers at their fingertips. Only the simplest and most basic for study. In fact, less access is preferred, much like having Parental Controls; If the student is able to play Fortnite on the thing, they won't be using it for its intended purpose. Lower costs save money and why pay more for more than you need?
That's a Niche Market.
This certainly does not mean that the General Market is veering toward Tablet Hybrids.

Currently, Linux holds about 2% of the worlds Operating System Market. Mac holds about within the range of 10% to 15% with some variance. Microsoft holds the rest. The highest hold by Microsoft was 92%. Currently it stands around 78%. But that is still, by far... The Dominant System.

Your familiarity is the same as mine... but here are some links:

There're also several YouTube videos - I won't link them but the common title is: BEST BACK TO SCHOOL DEVICE? Laptop VS Hybrid 2-1 VS

I realize your statement here contradicts the above links:

You made that statement after I looked up some information and after I made my post...


Cool discussion! 2/1 devices is a interesting name for it, although I feel hybrid is simpler to say and encompasses the same meaning. But if most stores and stuff call it 2/1 then that is what we must call it as well.

With regards to "PC-grade" I think that in the long run it is what is going to make it prevalent. Because that means it can be used at a low tier casual use as well as a professional or high tier use. And that is necessary for it to take out the laptop (The laptop might still exist though)

And regarding school. At the moment ipads is the device all students get in elementary school, middle school and high school in Scandinavia atm. The kids are getting used to it and are likely to keep buying tablets as they are older.

Chromebooks and other chrome devices seems to have gotten ultra popular for school use and they have a 1/2 direction.

And finally "doing both means doing both badly"

In some sense that can be correct, but I think it's possible although more difficult. The gnome system seems to be pulling it off pretty good so far. I don't think universal desktops are the ideal solution but I like to have a pragmatist attitude. And I think if 2/1 devices are taking over then having some flagship linuxes focus on universal desktop is better than having seperate tablet distros. Means a distro will have more resources to do a good effort, brandrecognition for 2/1 tablets, low barrier to entry as the popular distros will work with 2/1 tablets and they don't have to research for a distro.

I think some ground stuff that can be done

  • More space between icons and stuff to click
  • Inbuilt gestures in most software and on the desktop
  • Palm-rejection built in to most apps and the desktop
  • touch friendly sliders
  • Good touch-based way of handling open programs
  • Not UI, but battery-saving
  • Locked screen that don't pause processes and that let's for example stop and start media
    (I'll add more when more comes to mind)

But maybe more importantly having a good standard for 2/1 UI that opensource software projects can follow.

But I'm not sure about all these things in practice, and therefore why I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts heheh

this is very interesting!

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