Pinebook Pro update: The $199 Linux laptop is almost ready to go

After unveiling plans to launch a $199 Linux laptop with a Rockchip RK3399 processor earlier this year, the folks at Pine64 have been hard at work designing the hardware and software for the upcoming Pinebook Pro.

Now the team has posted a YouTube video showing off the latest prototype, and demonstrating that it has improved hardware, and support for 4K video playback (something the company’s original Pinebook couldn’t handle).

Pine64 still has some kinks to work out — audio isn’t working on the current motherboard, and there are problems with charging, suspend and resume. But it looks like the Pinebook Pro could be ready to ship within months.

The company will offer Ubuntu and Debian operating systems, making the Pinebook Pro one of the more affordable options for folks looking for a Linux-compatible laptop.

With an estimated price tag in the $199 range, the Pinebook Pro looks pretty competitive with entry-level Chromebooks. It’s clearly not designed to be a high-end laptop, but it does have decent specs for a computer in this price range, including:

  • 14 inch, 1080p IPS display
  • Magnesium Alloy body
  • Rockchip RK3399 processor with Mali-T860 MP4 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC (upgradeable)
  • PCIe x4 to m.2 NVMe SSD (with optional adapter)
  • MicroSD card slot (bootable)
  • USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and USB Type-C ports
  • Stereo speakers, mic, webcam, headphone jack
  • 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
  • 10,000 mAh battery

The Pinebook Pro is also an upgrade over the original Pinebook in a number of key ways. Not only does it support hardware-accelerated 4K video and 3D graphics, but the new model also has twice as much RAM, more storage, and keyboard and touchpad improvements (including an ISO keyboard that will be easier for non-English speakers to customize for regional layouts).

If you’re looking for a cheap Linux computer with similar specs, but don’t need it to be a laptop, Pine64’s RockPro64 single-board computer is already available for $60 and up.

The Pinebook Pro laptop is just one of several new devices Pine64 is working on this year. Others include the PinePhone smartphone, the PineTab 2-in-1 tablet, and updates to its single-board computer lineup.

via CNX-Software and ameriDroid

View Comments (27)

  • I have been using Debian Jessie, Stretch and now Buster on my MSI GP72 6QE - no issues at all, also on my Acer V3 731 which is now 7 years and going strong with Debian stable, plus my wife's Asus Zenbook running Debian Stretch and earlier computers such as HP and Compaq all running Linux with no sound issues. I don't use suspend and resume and shutdown and startup are much faster, but unless I'm traveling, I only shutdown for a reboot every three or four months when there is a kernel update. The Pinebook Pro looks great for people without lots of money to buy more expensive computers.

  • Whoa. A linux laptop. Cool.

    Actually I'd be fine with trying out their current non-pro 11" version, if it had more than 2 gigs of RAM, a better keyboard and wouldn't have warnings all over the place that there may be dead pixels... Yes it's cheap but nothing is cheap enough to warrant dead pixels in 2019.

  • Looks like the perfect platform for more arm development, per Mr. Torvald's predictions. Also, can we please get a keyboard with the "|\" key where it should be, and not have a delete key in its place? That'd be terrific. Perhaps that's just the UK keyboard we're seeing in the demo unit.

  • Specs seem good for this price point. Especially the IPS display. More RAM would be nice, even if it cost a bit more. Perhaps that will be optional.

  • Although ain't UMPC, this will give more headaches to long delayed Pyra now that a Linux laptop will be available at way much less than the price of Pyra itself.

  • Looks like a great Linux machine and I hope they sell tonnes of it.

    They will need to seriously improve their ordering system because ordering/purchasing experience of the 1st gen Pinebook was horrible (first you send request that you want to order, then wait 1-2 months when they notify you about the next batch then you may order, most of it in email).

    Would be nice if they could reach continuous production and sell on ebay or similar professional storefront.