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 up for pre-order April 13, 2023.
That’s more than the $100 price tag for the original PineTab, but not only is the new model significantly more powerful, it also ships standard with a backlit detachable keyboard (the original PineTab shipped without a keyboard unless you paid $20 for an optional keyboard accessory). Plus, you know, inflation and supply chain issues have made almost everything more expensive in the past few years.
The 2nd-gen tablet will be available in two configurations:
- 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.
The PineTab2 will ship with a build of Arch Linux with the KDE Plasma desktop environment, developed by DanctNix. But, like most Pine64 hardware, the tablet is designed to let users flash their choice of operating systems.
Even the default software that ships with the tablet is considered an “early state,” work-in-progress operating system. For example, WiFi is disabled by default because of instability problems, although users can enable support themselves.
Generally it’s often best to think of Pine64 devices as Linux software development platforms first and actual, usable devices second… although they do have a tendency to get better over time through community software development.
This article was first published March 1, 2023 and most recently updated April 10, 2023.