The PineTab2 is a Linux-friendly tablet with a 10.1 inch display, a detachable keyboard, and a Rockchip RK3566 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor.
First unveiled in December, the new tablet has a faster processor, more memory, sturdier build quality and other improvements over the original PineTab. But one thing the new tablet has in common with its predecessor? It’s cheap. The PineTab2 will sell for $159 and up when it goes on sale soon.
That’s more than the $100 that Pine64 charged for the original PineTab at launch, but not only is the new model significantly more powerful, but it also ships standard with a backlit detachable keyboard (the original PineTab shipped without a keyboard unless you paid $20 for an optinoal keyboard accessory). Plus, you know, inflation and supply chain issues have made almost everything more expensive in the past few years.
Pine64 says the PineTab2 is tentatively scheduled to go on sale in April, 2023, although that date is subject to change. When it is available, customers will have two pricing/configuration options to choose from:
- PineTab2 with 4GB RAM / 64GB storage for $159
- PineTab2 with 8GB RAM / 128GB storage for $209
Both versions feature LPDDR4 memory, eMMC flash storage, and an exposed PCIe connectors that tinkerers can use to connect other hardware (although there’s not enough room inside the tablet for an SSD).
The PineTab2 has USB 3.0 Type-C and USB 2.0 Type-C ports, a micro HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader. There’s a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera.
Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski says the tablet is also designed to be user serviceable thanks to a modular design. The cameras, battery, and USB keyboard connector are all removable and can be replaced in less than 5 minutes. The eMMC flash storage is on its own replaceable printed circuit board. And the IPS LCD display can also be replaced.
While the PineTab2 will most likely ship with a GNU/Linux distribution pre-installed, like most Pine64 hardware, it’s designed to let users flash their choice of operating systems. Software is still a work in progress: the custom build of Arch Linux that Erecinski got to demonstrate on the tablet at last month’s FOSDEM meetup didn’t yet support the tablet’s USB 3.0 port, cameras, or Bluetooth functionality, but it’s probably best to think of Pine64 devices as Linux software development platforms first and actual, usable devices second.
I don’t know what Pine64 is thinking these days, because they could have charge a lot more for the RK 3588 SoC, which is an 8 core CPU (4 Cortex A76 cores, and 4 Cortex A55 cores), instead of the much slower quad core CPU that is RK 3566 SoC (4 Cortex A55 cores). The Cortex A76 cores are much faster than A55 cores. But the best part in my humble opinion about the RK 3588, is the 6 TOPS NPU. That is going to be great for object, image, or speech recognition projects. The RK 3588 is also more future proof, and runs closer to a desktop CPU.
Considering the sheer amount of vram that practical neural network applications like Stable Diffusion and Llama and Whisper and Mozilla TTS take these days, and given that most developers of neural network applications target CUDA and CUDA alone, I honestly wonder why a consumer would care about NPUs. Especially in the context of a Linux tablet. As far as I know anything that takes a less crazy amount of RAM to use and is written in something less bloated than python, but still actually works on the device itself, is proprietary and only works on Windows, iOS or Android.
I’d LIKE to be shown the situation isn’t as crazy as I think it is though. These applications are useful.
Any way of reserving one?
just sell a potato marketed towards linux tinkerers then cash out
Every time I go to the Pine64 store, practically none of their devices can be bought. (maybe the sbcs but I am not interested in those)
I mostly stopped reading these articles.
What is the point ?
You cannot buy it anyway !
I know that this is long-winded, but…
I was excited to read that the PineTab 2 was so close to production and had such a low price. Then I did some quick research on the RK3566 chip. I learned that, while a big upgrade from the original PineTab, the 2 is no speed demon. I was hoping they would use the RK3588 that is used in the PineTop 2 would. That would have been a relative speed demon.
The RK3566’s Geekbench 4 scores are: 1) about half the single-core score of a Fire 10 HD and 40% of the multi-core score. And BTW, the current Fire 10 HD is about to be replaced with a newer and probably faster model.
Further research found that the RK3566 has about the same single- and multi-core scores as the Atom x5-Z8350. Heck, the RK3566 is even 20% slower than the even older Atom Z3745 in my, dare I say ancient, Lenovo Yoga TAB 2.
Of course, the PineTab 2 serves a totally different market than the Fire 10 HD. For one thing, you can’t run Linux on the Fire. However, you can on the Yoga TAB 2. I don’t know how well, but you can. Oh, well…
I doubt that Arch distro supported screen rotation as well.
I don’t suppose it has support for any kind of Wacom-style stylus?
Development hardware doesn’t usually have hardware issues, Pine’s stuff does so it is more prototype hardware
i want to like it too..