PineTab2 and PineTab-V Linux tablets will launch April 11
While the Android tablet market seems to be cooling, the Linux tablet world is starting to gain some traction, thanks in large part to Pine64 and their PineTab. The company's latest Linux tablet, the PineTab2, is set to launch on April 11 at a budget-tier price.
The PineTab2, which was revealed back in December, is a low-powered tablet that supports the Linux kernel and can run a variety of Linux distributions, or "distros." The PineTab2 is the successor to the original PineTab, which proved to be an interesting experiment that struggled with real-world usability.
Pine64 has stated that the PineTab2 will be a fair bit more powerful than the company's first tablet, and its on-paper specs support this claim. The PineTab2 sports a Rockchip RK3566, which is a quad-core ARM chip with four Cortex-A55 cores. The tablet will also ship with either 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and either 64 or 128 GB of eMMC storage.
In true Pine64 fashion, the PineTab2 is a tinkerer's delight. There is an exposed PCIe connection to hook up peripherals, USB-C ports (both 3.0 and 2.0 standards), a microSD card reader, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a mini-HDMI port. The tablet's internals are easily accessible, and Pine64 claims the battery, cameras, and keyboard connection can all be replaced by users in about 5 minutes. The display is also replaceable, though it may take a little extra work.
The main selling point of the PineTab2 is its price. The tablet is slotted for release on April 11 and starts at US$159 for the 4GB /64GB model. An extra $50 will double both the RAM and storage (meaning the 8GB/128GB version costs $209).
It's important to note that while the PineTab2 is a fully-functional tablet, it's still an early product. As such, there are still some hardware and software bugs to work out, but Pine64 has a good track record for support, and the community around Pine64's products is fairly active. This is definitely a tinkerer's tablet, so don't expect to be streaming Netflix while playing Genshin Impact on this device.
Pine64 also said the PineTab-V will launch on April 11 for the same price as the PineTab2. The main differentiator for the PineTab-V is its SoC. Instead of an ARM-based chip, the PineTab-V runs on a RISC-V processor. This presents a lot of challenges, and Pine64 readily admits that the PineTab-V is "effectively a glorified paperweight at this point in time." Buyers beware: this is a development product that has very little (if anything) working out of the box.