quandary: commercial tablet or components - Embedded

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  1. quandary: commercial tablet or components

    howdy

    I am in a bit of a quandary over how to build the best operator console
    unit for our application. The choices are to find a commercial tablet PC
    that contains all the bells and whistles necessary to connect the human
    interface devices and network connections, or to build a custom unit out
    of industrially available components.

    On the one hand, the tablet PC option is, on the surface, more simple. The
    hidden cost is in finding a machine that has the desired features, but not
    a lot of features we don't need...and it will be more expensive. Then there
    is the issue of Linux support. Virtually every tablet PC I've come across
    either has lousy Linux support or totally proprietary interfaces for things
    like the touch screen.

    The component option is more attractive if I can find the components I want,
    but will be more costly to develop. I'd prefer to develop a custom unit
    based on components but I cannot find the components I need. For instance,
    where can I locate an 8 or 9 inch diagonal LCD with a VGA interface and a
    capacitive touch screen that will work under Linux? I want capacitive,
    not resistive...and of course, I want the components to be readily available
    in the USA.

    Thoughts?


  2. Re: quandary: commercial tablet or components

    V Thu, 09 Aug 2007 15:55:23 -0500, noone napsal(a):

    > howdy
    >
    > I am in a bit of a quandary over how to build the best operator console
    > unit for our application. The choices are to find a commercial tablet PC
    > that contains all the bells and whistles necessary to connect the human
    > interface devices and network connections, or to build a custom unit out
    > of industrially available components.
    >
    > On the one hand, the tablet PC option is, on the surface, more simple. The
    > hidden cost is in finding a machine that has the desired features, but not
    > a lot of features we don't need...and it will be more expensive. Then there
    > is the issue of Linux support. Virtually every tablet PC I've come across
    > either has lousy Linux support or totally proprietary interfaces for things
    > like the touch screen.
    >
    > The component option is more attractive if I can find the components I want,
    > but will be more costly to develop. I'd prefer to develop a custom unit
    > based on components but I cannot find the components I need. For instance,
    > where can I locate an 8 or 9 inch diagonal LCD with a VGA interface and a
    > capacitive touch screen that will work under Linux? I want capacitive,
    > not resistive...and of course, I want the components to be readily available
    > in the USA.
    >
    > Thoughts?


    Most OEM manufacturers will not ship an LCD panel with an interface. You
    have to provide your own. OTOH the touchscreen is something that you can
    specify when you buy the screen.

    Sharp makes some nice color screens.

    You will have to contract with someone to design and build your interface.
    We use a QVGA monochrome non-backlit screen with a custom board to drive
    it.

    Most PC104 boards provide linux support these days. Look at
    embeddedarm.com; they have a new board (ts7800) coming out that has some
    neat features.

    --Yan

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