I've been experimenting with minimalist environments lately. While I'm a KDE guy all the way, I do have a tablet that even with KDE 4.4 on Slackware, it feels a little sluggish and gets ~ 2 hours of battery. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so onward I search for the perfect tablet PC configuration.
I'm no expert, but I've been using Blackbox as a window manager on a Gentoo system and have been quite pleased with the results. My average cpu while idle is 0-1% and currently my ram is sitting at 7% usage, or 76 MB out of 1 GB. (Courtesy of Conky, a great system monitor app)
IBM Thinkpad X41
1.5 GHz LV Centrino (Pentium M)
1 GB DDR2 Ram (probably 533MHz or 667 MHz)
Intel GMA 910 integrated graphics chipset
ICH6 Intel Motherboard
1024x768 px screen resolution
Functionality varies, and a minimal system isn't for everyone. I just compiled bmpanel (which looks great with transparency) for my bottom panel. Right click is the menu and after installation of a program, it must be regenerated. Some things have to be configured by hand and to use awesome programs from KDE and GNOME, both sets of libraries must be installed which amounts to ~70-90 MB for KDE and about ~33 MB for GNOME.
One program I would recommend for tablets is the GTK-based character input application, Cellwriter. I've only played with it currently, but it looks good. Once I add some script functionality to get the screen to rotate, a system tray, and a customized monitor layout, all will be good. Will update with screen shots later.
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