The 32GB HP Touchpad I purchased during last year’s fire sale for $150 is running QGIS for Android. This is full-featured open source desktop GIS software I’m talking about. It works well and is surprisingly fast.
First you’ll want to set up your HP Touchpad to dual-boot into WebOS or Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) using the instructions here: http://liliputing.com/2012/01/how-to-install-android-4-0-on-the-hp-touchpad-cyanogenmod-9-alpha.html CyanogenMod is undoubtedly the best aftermarket firmware you can get for your HP Touchpad, and now’s the time to take the plunge if you haven’t already done so. I’m running CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 2 and only the microphone and camera aren’t working yet. Also, the article mentions a lot of users having issues with wireless connectivity. I have yet to experience any problems (using WPA2-PSK on a TP-Link Wireless N router).
Boot into Android (it’s the default now), set up your wireless connection and then download the latest nightly build of QGIS for Android directly onto your Touchpad: http://hub.qgis.org/wiki/android-qgis/Download You’ll also need access to the Android Marketplace, or Google Play or whatever they’re calling it now-a-days.
Load up the Touchpad with your favorite QGIS project and data layers. QGIS for Android will open a .qgs project file created from your Windows or Linux version of QGIS. All your symbology, labels and project settings transfer over. S-l-i-c-k-! Just tell QGIS the new location of your data layers when you open the project from your tablet, then save.
Pinch to zoom and swipe to pan the view. You can play with the font size and icon size inside Quantum GIS (settings, options, general tab) to suit you preferences.
As you may expect from an alpha version app running atop an alpha version tablet operating system, not everything is going to work perfectly. The attribute table is unusable unless you put it in docked mode (also under QGIS settings). Not a lot of plug-ins are supported yet, but you know it’s just going to get better. IMHO, this is a good entry point to start playing around with Desktop GIS on a tablet device.