Pine64 will have a busy 2019 thanks to the release of its new Linux laptop and tablet
You may know Pine64 as the purveyor of inexpensive single-board computers and laptops running Linux. Compared to other boutique Linux laptop manufacturers, Pine64’s Pinebook is an absolute bargain at US $99. Granted, the hardware isn’t that great (it’s running an ARM Cortex A53 CPU, after all), but it’s cheap. Pine64 has seen some success with the Pinebook, and the company thinks it's enough to warrant a few new devices. Pine64 is planning on launching a new Linux laptop and Linux tablet.
The new laptop, dubbed the “Pinebook Pro,” is a substantial improvement over the Pinebook, although it’s not necessarily what most would call a “Pro” laptop. Here are the specifications:
- CPU: Rockchip RK3399 (big.LITTLE Hexacore ARM Cortex A72/A53 SoC)
- RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4
- Display: 14-inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS LCD
- Storage: 64 or 128 GB of eMMC flash (128 GB reserved for Pine64 forum members)
- Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
The Pinebook Pro will include USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports (Pine64 is being mum on the exact amount). One of these will be a USB Type-C port with support for video out up to 4K at 60 Hz. The Pro will also have an SD card slot and an internal PCIe x3 m.2 slot for an NVMe SSD. All of this will be wrapped in a black magnesium alloy chassis that Pine64 describes as “slim and slick” with “minimal branding.” Pine64 is planning on selling the Pinebook Pro for $199, which is a decent price considering the hardware. Of course, the Pinebook Pro will be compatible with various Linux distros and other open-source operating systems, including (but not limited to) Manjaro, KDE Neon, Netrunner, and FreeBSD.
The PineTab is Pine64’s upcoming Linux tablet. The device itself is fairly underpowered, similar to the original Pinebook:
- CPU: Quad-core Allwinner A64 (ARM Cortex A53)
- RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3
- Display: 10-in 1280x720 IPC LCD (MiPi)
- Storage: 16 GB eMMC
- Wireless: 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
The PineTab will have a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a microUSB 2.0 port with OTG support, and a microSD card slot. The key feature of the PineTab, though, is its detachable keyboard/touchpad which attaches to the tablet unit via magnets. The PineTab will be priced at $99 for the tablet and detachable keyboard or $79 for the tablet only.
If you’re in need of a cheap device and you don’t mind running Linux, these are two to keep your eye on. You can find more details over at Pine64’s forum.