Are there any distros that will allow tablet pc hardware to workfunctionally. And what open source software are being developed for it?
I don't know much much about this. I know that linux includes some tablet support, and recommend that you just google for the device you're talking/thinking about and "linux" (e.g. "Tabletware Waretable 750X linux" if your tablet is a tabletware warerable 750x (made the name up)).
google is your friend when you are looking for software
I'm going to install linux on a Tablet PC (Gateway CX2724) soon enough, going for SuSE 10.2
I can tell you how it was when I'll be done trying
I installed OpenSuse 10.2 on a Tablet PC Gateway CX2427.
What worked : Wireless, keyboard, touchpad, mouse, well, everything except (see below)
What didn't work : the pen! :-(
Yeah, it detects the tablet pc as a .. well.. some kind of tablet PC. However, the kernel doesn't detect the input device as it should. I know for a fact that Ubuntu can work with the pen with that tablet using Fudjitsu Finepoint driver (input device: fpi in xorg.conf)
I probably gotta build a new kernel so I can use the pen. (enabling more ACPI stuff, new modules and such)
The screen reversal and orientation change works pretty well tho, it can be triggered with the following command : randr -o invert, randr -o normal to get back.
The graphics (intel 945M) works well, also in 3D (open source driver). It runs beryl great, and games just perfectly.
It also detected automatically the screen resolution (widescreen 16:10)
From what I've seen, OpenSuse got ready for most tablet PC, except the Gateway brand isn't really popular yet.