The Pinebook is a cheap, low-power laptop with an ARM-based processor. First unveiled in November, the Pinebook comes from the makers of the Pine A64 single-board computer and it uses the same processor as that tiny desktop.
Now the company is getting ready to begin shipping laptops to customers.
Prices start at $89 for a model with an 11.6 inch display or $99 for a 14 inch version… but shipping from Hong Kong can add as much as $$37 to the price, depending on where you live.
The Pinebook is available through a build-to-order system. You have to enter your email address and choose a screen size and then wait for the sales team to contact you before your order can be placed.
A tipster forwarded me the email he received, which shows that shipping to the US costs $29 and that the order will be shipped in mid-April.
The Pinebook itself is a laptop with a 64-bit Allwinner A64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSd card slot, headphone jack, and mini HDMI port. There’s a VGA webcam.
Both the 11.6 inch and 14 inch models have 1366 x 768 pixel TN displays and 10,000 mAh batteries. And both have full-sized keyboards and touchpads with support for multitouch input.
The smaller model measures 11.8″ x 7.9″ x 0.5″ and weighs 2.3 pounds, while the 14 inch model is 13″ x 8.7″ x 0.5″ and 2.8 pounds.
Optional accessories are also available for purchase, including HDMI and USB cables or a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, but you can also probably use third-party versions of those.
One thing to keep in mind? The Pinebook is only covered by a 30-day warranty and “all sales are final,” with no returns accepted.
You can read more about some of the pre-release hardware in a thread at the Pine64 forum.
I’m wondering how this would be for productivity, unfortunately the answer seems to be “poor”. Android with multitasking but no touch screen or maybe Chrome OS (builds are coming). Linux would be a non-starter if you can’t get Chromium running with 2D acceleration. Gonna be hard to justify spending even the low asking price if it can’t be used for productivity.
You could get a celeron chromebook or windows notebook on ebay for about the same price once you add in the shipping charges. I think that would be better all around for productivity and media.
Yeah I’m torn. I need both a web browser that isn’t slow and a command line if I’m going to program. ARM chromebooks might be the best devices for that since the browser side’s accelerated and iirc you can run ubuntu alongside chromeOS with some minor hackery.
I wish it had a 40 pin header that I could attach a cable to… I would love to use this in the lab. Presently I use a 24inch monitor and RPi3.
I use RPi3 too, and it’s pain in ass to work with browser, or webcam video capture. It’s too painfull slow, and it could just froze for a few minuter under 100% load… Each second website with badly made JS freeze RPi3.
Just so you know, you can use a PADI for wireless GPIO. Please see my post that liliputing kindly linked at the bottom of the text.
I wonder what sort of graphical hardware acceleration it’ll have. ARM graphics do not interface well with Linux.
The A64 has a Mali400 which has decent drivers available. The newer MALIs (450 in the Allwinner H5 for example) are still unsupported. Allwinner and/or the boardmaker with the ARM license can redistribute the drivers from ARM but for some reason most don’t. ARM _should_ distribute but have their heads up their asses so they force you to go through their licensees.
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