March Update: Manjaro on Pinebook Pro & PinePhone Software

Digital Divide Pinebook Pro PinePhone PineTime

COVID-19 recovery in China is underway and factory work is slowly returning back to normal. This is good news, and we hope to have a constant stream of updates for you in the coming weeks. That said, we’re taking it one step at a time, since factories are still at 20% of the normal manufacturing capacity and it’s hard to predict the recovery pace. So rather than offering you my guesstimates for particular device availability, we will make announcements once all stages of production are secured for each device. Frankly speaking, this also means that announcements will likely drop suddenly; so If you haven’t done so yet, this is probably the time to subscribe to this blog and be notified when it happens. 

The big news of this community update is that Pinebook Pros are about to re-enter production and will be shipping with Manjaro KDE as the default operating system! Pre-orders for the new production run starts on Wednesday (March 18th) and shipping is planned for early May. 

TL;DR for this month

  • Moving PINE64 services to the PINE64 cluster 
  • Spare parts for the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro 
  • OG Pinebook entering production for charity; closing the digital gap 
  • PINE A64-LTS will be produced until 2025 
  • Pinebook Pro pre-orders start March 18th; expected shipping date early May
  • Manjaro KDE is the new default OS for the Pinebook Pro!
  • mainline kernel 5.7 mainline Pinebook Pro support 
  • Minor Pinebook Pro refinements and tweaks
  • PinePhone development is steaming ahead; new OSes and features 
  • PinePhone soft and hard protective cases available soon
  • PineTime OSes start coming together; first glimpse at a fully fledged FOSS OS

Housekeeping

We’re getting ready to move PINE64 community services to our ROCKpro64 cluster. The IRC and Matrix are the first services on our list, which means disruptions to all chats are expected at some point this month. We obviously hope that the downtime will be minimal, but given the complexity of our communications setup – which spans across multiple chat protocols bridged together – we cannot rule out that things may be a bit iffy for a few days before kinks are ironed out. I’ll make sure to give everyone a few hours heads-up when we’ll commit to the move so as not to disrupt ongoing workflow in the chats without a notice. With IRC and Matrix successfully migrated over to the cluster, we’ll be looking at moving the forums and Wiki next. This, however, will likely first be happening mid-April.  

The second piece of important housekeeping information concerns the availability of spare parts for the Pinebook Pro and the PinePhone. I recognize that this has been some time coming, but unexpected events – such as social unrests in Hong Kong and the COVID-19 outbreak – have made it hard for us to stick to initial production schedules. At any rate, spare parts for the PinePhone will be available in the PINE store within two weeks time, closely followed by parts for the Pinebook Pro later this month or in early April. Spare PINE64-branded batteries for the PinePhone will also be available but only in the USA. Further information about the parts and shipping options will be announced as items appear in the PINE Store.  

We are also starting to look into resuming production of the original Pinebook. Last summer we announced that we will be contributing to closing the digital gap by producing subsidized Pinebooks and distributing them to groups of people in need of a simple, reliable and easily repairable laptop. These Pinebooks will be subsidized from sales of the soft silicone cases for the PinePhone (more on this later). In short, 10 PinePhone transparent silicone cases sold amounts to one subsidized Pinebook produced. Once production resumes and everything returns to normal at the factories I’ll be setting up a committee and installing some democratic process allowing us to collectively decide on who should receive these Pinebooks. I’ll have more information on this topic as we get closer to production date. Noteworthily, a sizable portion of the Pinebook production-run will also be available for purchase by end-users. 

The last point on our housekeeping list is primarily aimed at our industry end-users; we’re happy to announce that the PINE A64-LTS production has been extended by 3 years. We recognize that the PINE A64-LTS is utilised in a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications, and that a sizable number of businesses rely on it to complete a job or deliver a service. We therefore commit to deliver the PINE A64-LTS until the year 2025 (N.B. the product page is yet to reflect this change). This date will, however, in all likelihood be extended further into the future if end-users decide to remain on the platform. 

Pinebook Pro

As many of you know we have developed and fostered a truly special relationship with the Manjaro team over the course of past 3 years. Their OS images for our single board computers and the original Pinebook were and remain some of the best supported software options to date. It is therefore no surprise that Manjaro builds for the Pinebook Pro have also proven to be highly popular among our community members. Manjaro currently offers a KDE, XFCE and i3 variant of their OS image for the Pinebook Pro, each of which provides a highly tailored experience. These builds feature a cutting edge Linux kernel (5.6 at the time of writing), which supports all key Pinebook Pro functionality including USB-C charging, USB-C video out and are compatible with a number of USB-C docks. Out of the three, KDE version is arguably the most end-user friendly and polished, not in the least because Plasma makes use of the Panfrost open source GPU driver for desktop and application acceleration. 

Original Pinebook showcased at Manjaro booth, Linux-Tage 2019

We’re excited and proud to announce that future Pinebook Pros will ship with Manjaro KDE as the default operating system. Pre-orders for the next production run of Pinebook Pros starts on March 18, 2020 with an estimated shipping date of early May, 2020 (once Hong Kong border opens to our shipping staff). The image that ships with the upcoming Pinebook Pro batch features an additional layer of polish, which extends to a custom set of wallpapers and tweaks to the default application list to include popular software. If you are a Manjaro enthusiast, then I probably don’t need to convince you any further, and if you haven’t gotten a chance to try Manjaro yet then I suspect you’ll really enjoy the out-of-the-box experience. Speaking of the out of the box experience, Manjaro ships with an OEM setup / installer that allows you to set your username and password as well as choose your keyboard layout and system locale on initial boot. 

ANSI (left) and ISO (right) Pinebook Pros running Manjaro with KDE Plasma

If Manjaro isn’t your OS of choice, then you’re of course welcome to try any of the many options available for the Pinebook Pro. Nearly all available OSes can be booted from a SD card and, once you find what you’re looking for, the chosen distribution or *BSC can be installed to eMMC flash memory. The list of available software is continually growing with new, novel and interesting releases becoming available weekly. Two notable releases from the past couple of weeks include Recalbox (pre-release) by the one and only MrFixIt, as well as postmarketOS and Slackware. So if you’re keen on trying something different (and yet familiar – since posmarketOS is built on Alpine Linux), or experience Slack nostalgia, then here’s your chance. I am also sure that retrogaming enthusiasts will be happy to see a dedicated Recalbox image for the Pinebook Pro; the Pinebook Pro is able to run Dreamcast and PSP games at upscaled resolutions at full speed, making it a great on-the-go gaming system. One of the cool features of Recalbox is that if you boot with either an USB-C-to-HDMI dongle or a USB-C dock connected, then the output will automatically switch to the external monitor.   

Recalbox on the Pinebook Pro via Vercas

I almost forgot to mention that there is now also a dedicated Kali Linux OS image (which happens to be something many of you have been asking about) so you no longer have to rely on the build script to generate your own image – all you need to do is DD the provided Kali image to a SD card and try it out for yourself. 

Kali Linux on the Pinebook Pro

The OS choice for the Pinebook Pro will expand even further in the coming months since – thanks to efforts by Tobias from Manjaro and other developers – the RK3399, and many of the core Pinebook Pro features, will be included in the mainline kernel 5.7. This means that you’ll be able to download any generic ARM64 OS image provided by a distro and use it on the Pinebook Pro (!). I suspect that the generic builds will not be as feature complete or functional as those tailored for the Pinebook Pro (as well as ROCKPro64 and HardROCK64), but this is a very important step nonetheless as it significantly simplief OS porting to our platform. 

The last bit I want to touch upon in this section concerns minor structural tweaks to the Pinebook Pro construction. I’ll write up a more complete list of these improvements this coming week and post them on the Wiki – here I’ll focus on the more significant changes: 1) stand-off height for pillars holding the keyboard and bottom of the chassis together has been improved; 2) kapton tape is used in places where electrical shorts can introduce interference to audio devices; 3) soft non-conductive standoffs are used around various parts inside the case preventing shorts and making it more sturdy; 4) screen bezels are now not only pressure-fitted but also held in place using adhesive tape – this prevents dust from entering the crevices between the LCD and the bezel; 5) the plastic formula was tweaked to make the plastic less brittle. In all likelihood, none of you would notice these changes unless explicitly told about them; I have a reason to believe so, since the ANSI batch already included most, if not all, of these changes. 

PinePhone

Before I proceed to write about the current state of PinePhone software, I first want to write a few words about the PinePhone itself. Undoubtedly many of you are anxiously waiting to hear news concerning PinePhone production resuming following the novel coronavirus recovery. I want to assure you that the PinePhone is at the top of our out ‘to-do’ list, however there are yet a number of things we need to work out before the next production-run gets commissioned. In short, we’re working on it. 

On a topic somewhat related to hardware, I’d also like to mention that both the hard (black) and soft (transparent) protective PinePhone cases should be available in the PINE Store within two weeks time. I have written about the cases in the past so I won’t repeat myself, but the one noteworthy piece of information that I wish to underline is that revenue from sales of soft cases goes to manufacturing the Pinebooks aimed at efforts to close the digital divide (please see Housekeeping section).

Transparent silicone case (left) and hard black case (right)

Software-wise things are moving quickly and starting to look good. As always, in a project that has so much depth and breadth as the PinePhone, it will be difficult for me to cover all aspects of development that have taken place in the past 30 days. Instead, I’ll focus on the key developments and some of the more interesting things that transpired recently. Let me start with what is undoubtedly most interesting to existing and prospective PinePhone owners, namely outgoing and incoming phone calls. The key development here, as I understand it, is that megi and smaeul – along with other developers – managed to get automatic audio-routing working in late February. This effectively means that the audio output can change dynamically when making or receiving phone calls. In other words, you can watch a video or listen to music with audio coming from the speaker and then make a phone call and have the audio automatically routed to the earpiece. This has now been implemented in most OSes. 

As for phone call capability itself, from the OSes that I’ve seen and tested in the past 30 days, nearly all systems can receive and make phone calls. I have also noticed a quality improvement in audio quality on the receiving end in KDE Neon (after sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade) as well as in the newest Debian+Phosh image. I also know that various developers, from different projects, are currently attempting to enable the notification LED, vibration motor and to make the phone ring when the phone receives a call. These are obviously important features to  make you notified of incoming calls as well as received SMSs or other messages. By the time I publish the next community update I expect some OSes will have these features either implemented or in the process of testing. Speaking of sensors, Marius from UBports and Bhushan, who’s working on KDE Neon, have demonstrated auto-rotation using PinePhone’s accelerometer on Ubuntu Touch and Plasma mobile respectively. Noteworthily, auto-rotation now also works on LuneOS, which remains a well performing and interesting alternative to more popular OS propositions. I expect to see the auto-rotate feature to also find its way into the next releases of the aforementioned OS images in the coming weeks.

Auto-rotate on Ubuntu Touch, originally posted by Marius

Auto-rotate on KDE Neon, originally posted by Bhushan

A major development task currently concerns improving battery life in idle state. This is something which is something I already touched upon in last month’s community update. There are a number of different attempts at making the PinePhone last a day on battery, but perhaps the most impressive to date can be seen in the newest KDE Neon build. Running KDE Neon, with WiFi and the LTE modem turned on, the PinePhone can now last approx 10 hours on the battery alone. Now, I recognize that this may seem underwhelming compared to our Android or iPhone smartphones, but keep in mind that this device is nothing like your ordinary phone. Moreover, there are also many known areas that can be improved upon in this regard. I think that it’s fair to say that, given the length of time in development, a 10 hour stand-by time with connectivity enabled is very good improvement over the previous 4-6 hours. 

Another topic I wish to touch upon is growing OS availability. Software options literally exploded in the past 30 days as Braveheart brought many new developers who began porting a variety of OSes, some of which have previously not been seen on a small form-factor device such as a phone. Among others, we’ve now seen an early port of Android 10 – running kernel 5.6 no less – as well as the much anticipated NixOS (much anticipated by me that is – not sure of its overall popularity). I have, sadly, not had any hand-on time with either of these systems, but from what I’ve gathered NixOS already works well, while Android 10 is mostly unusable at present time. As for the Arch Linux OS image, this one is clearly aimed at tinkerers and experienced enthusiasts; it comes with no desktop environment nor UI, and clearly invites you to build your own custom experience atop the bare Arch OS image. Last, but certainly not least, we’ve seen an impressive amount of work done on the PinePhone Fedora port. The port already runs great and has much, if not all, of the functionality that other OSes offer. This  includes phone call functionality, SMS, LTE, GPU acceleration, etc., I’d like to give a shoutout to Peter Robinson from Red Hat, who actively helps and mentors the dedicated group of enthusiasts porting Fedora over to the PinePhone.  

Fedora on PinePhone, picture via Tor.sh

Android 10 on PinePhone by Moe Icenowy

Lastly, across the board we’ve seen improvements in UI performance. For instance, the recently pushed Ubuntu Touch OS image runs much smoother than in the past and features a number of stability improvements. I also subjectively feel that Phosh and KDE front-ends have benefited significantly from recent development. That said, I have also experienced new bugs – such as stuttering in Angelfish on KDE Plasma –  previously absent on the same OS images or front-ends. There is no denying that it’s all still very much a work in progress; with so much changing on a bi-weekly basis, testing new builds and providing structured feedback is important. So, if you happen to have a PinePhone Braveheart edition, I strongly suggest you visit the (well maintained) PinePhone software releases page on our Wiki and try out recent OS images.

PineTime

I usually pay the PineTime less attention in my updates than the other devices. This isn’t because I care less for it – quite to the contrary, I was the one who pitched the idea of making it in the first place – but rather because I have little to no knowledge regarding the software it is running. Besides, my posts simply could not measure up the publications by Lup Yuen Lee on the PineTime, which I encourage you all to read. Regardless, I do feel that the project is underexposed by us and that it deserves a bit more love. To give the project and the devs hard work a bit more spotlight we have now placed a large PineTime widget on the main page. I trust this will help in showing off the device and the work that has gone into it to prospectus users browsing our website. 

And there truly is plenty to marvel at and appreciate. This month I want to take a look at the first piece of software that resembles a full FOSS OS for the PineTime created by JF, whose work I previously featured in community updates. Until recently all PineTime software developed by the community, while highly impressive, amounted to the functionality of a “dumb” watch capable of syncing with a smartphone. JF’s current work offers a first glimpse at what may become the first full OS for the device built by the community. In the video posted earlier this month, we see JF flip though (smoothly I may add) the various functional demonstration elements of his PineTime front-end. Among the demonstration applications shown are an information widget, a timer of sorts and an analogue watch counting down seconds. There are also other demo applications registering user input – finger taps specifically – and other such functions. All this functionality is accessible via a pull down drawer which appears over the watchface. 

JF’s OS on the PineTime – different demo apps shown

The hardware limitations of the PineTime also invite some interesting work-arounds and implementations. For instance, due to the slow refresh rate, JF implemented a scrolling transition when the screen needs to be fully refreshed. It provides a perfect illusion of a fast and smooth transition when the app drawer is pulled down by the user. The experience is very reminiscent of what you may see on much more complex smartwatches from big brands. The OS itself is written in C++ and uses FreeRTOS as well as LittleVGL – a free and open-source graphics library – to provide the UI graphical elements. If you are interested in the project then please check out JF’s github and, if you’re able, contribute to his work – I’m sure he’d appreciate input. 

Demo apps in action, originally posted by JF

I’d also like to mention that this is only one out of many ongoing efforts to build a fully functional OS for the PineTime. Many other developers are actively working on their own front-ends and/or applications. If you are interested in the PineTime, and wish to learn more about it from someone more competent than me, then I suggest you take the plunge and join the PineTime chat available via Discord, IRC, Telegram and Matrix (all bridged together), accessible from Forums And Chats tab on this website. The community there is very welcoming and will gladly help you with getting started. In the spirit of community development, the PineTime dev kits have now been available to all those who are interested in it for some time, so anyone can have a go at testing and contributing to the project.

 

That will be all for this month. We have a lot more news coming in the next few weeks, so subscribe to the blog and stay tuned!

66 thoughts on “March Update: Manjaro on Pinebook Pro & PinePhone Software

  1. Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to Manjaro shipping as default OS.

    Can’t wait for pre orders to open!

  2. Thanks for the update. What is up with PineTab and its dev edition? I still hope it will get some better hardware (more ram and better soc).
    On https://youtu.be/i6UndhJlzbI firefox needs 25s (window appears) to 42s until it is usable. Ok, it is running from sd, but it lags as hell.

    1. The dev PineTabs are a bit underpowered compared to production ones, so don’t worry too much about it. We’ll see about making a pro-version sometime in the future. There is only so much we can do/ handle at a time, especially with everything that has been happening in the world (especially China and Hong Kong) in the past 9 months.

  3. What are the specifications of the screens used in Pinebook pro and pinephone – in particular, do they have any type of “anti-flicker” capability? I could not find this info anywhere, and would appreciate a response before I place my order. My eyes are unfortunately extremely sensitive to screen flicker. Thanks.

    1. Take a look in the wiki section of both devices – specs for both LCD panels are listed on there. I and a number of other people who are sensitive to flickering haven’t reported issues with the Pinebook Pro nor the PinePhone.

    2. Lukasz: thank you for the clarification. I did some digging around for the Pinebook Pro, and here is some info that may help others with the same question.

      PWM brightness control is present but the frequency is around 1,250 Hz which is high enough to make it a non-issue for most people.

      LCD panel datasheet: http://files.pine64.org/doc/datasheet/PinebookPro/NV140FHM-N49_Rev.P0_20160804_201710235838.pdf

      The same panel is used in the Lenovo ThinkPad E490. Here is a review from a reputable source discussing the performance of the panel: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-E490-i5-8265U-SSD-FHD-Laptop-Review.422828.0.html

  4. This is very exciting! I’m a huge fan of what Manjaro ARM arm is doing. Do you have any idea what time on March 18th the pre-orders will go live?

  5. Will the changes done to improve audio interference documented so that those of us who have the current set of PBPs can apply them to see the same improvements?

    Similarly, are we going get a disassembly guide for the screen on the PBP? I slipped and fell on my back while my PBP was in my backpack and the outer shell bent on a small spot causing screen to look like something is pushing on it from outside (because it is), but I can’t figure out how to take it apart to fix that.

  6. While waiting for Pinephone production and Hong Kong shipping to restart. Can you make available a copy of Ubuntu Touch, the Kernel, and Apps source code -that can be copied to a thumb drive, Not installed, or used as an OS image.
    Everything I found wants to install as an OS
    Image. They also claim to make it easy for newbies. For a free open source code makes me wonder how bad hard would be.

  7. Co do irc to niestety nie jest to prawda, to co pisałem na irc trafia w próżnię.
    Nie warto w ten sposób się komunikować bo nic z tego nie wynika.

    Co do maszyny Laptop to proponuję by wysłac jeden egzemplarz Linusowi Torwaldsowi. Chodzi o to by mógł zgłaszac uwagi i ew. optymalizowac kernel pod ten konkretnie model. Myśle, że o ile nie ma on zbyt wiele czasu na zagladanie do kodu to nadal ogarnia jak to działa, akceptuje łatki i wie co mozna by poprawić. Mając sprzęt będzie mógl przetestowac wiele wariantów i obieg informacji będzie bardzo przyśpieszony.

    Pojawił się https://github.com/ellbrid/krabs i można było by zastanowic się nad przeniesieniem go na arm

  8. Great news as always!
    I have two questions:
    1) a couple of months back there was a mention of a potential keyboard extension for the PinePhone. Are you also considering the option of a sliding keyboard? It would make the phone to be usable in a more “phony” manner. 🙂
    2) can you throw in a link about the Android WIP? I’v been browsing the web in the last month and couldn’t find anything about it. :/
    Thank you in advance and keep up the good work!
    Cheers,

    1. 1) we actively exploring alternative keyboards for the PinePhone
      2) I can’t – the lady behind the work – Moe Icenowy – hasn’t shared a link yet … probably because its mostly completely nonfunctional

  9. co do Manjaro to oczywiście sa jakies bzdurki o tym, że ładnie wygląda i jest super, ale bardziej interesowało by nas czy da się wymienic firmware w GPU/CPU i może płycie głównej , bios itd.

    Co do rozdawnictwa to proponuje powielić pomysł OLPC laptop.org mieli oni zestawy 1:1 czuli jeden laptop kupiony to 1 laptop podarowany, zatem dwa w cenie jednego ale za to wiesz gdzie idą te laptopy. Można by spokojnie robić listę i po prostu zaakceptowane projekty można by wybrać. np. ja kupuje sobie laptopa do domu i zaznaczam, że chce wspomóc misje Caritas w ameryce poludniowej, wtedy ja wiem, ze dotuje co chcę i mam swój wspaniały laptopik (oczywiście moge kupić sobie pro a wysłac zwykły) albo może będzie inny przelicznik jak 1:2.5 😉

    Nadal uważam, że należy w nowszych wersjach laptopa zrobić je bardziej surwiwalowe, podłączenie np. panela słonecznego (nie zawsze da się ładowac małym pradem, kwestia wtyczek itd)

  10. powiadomienia: w wiekszości użytkownicy pinephone to geeki, zatem warto było by rozważyć wstawienie 5 diód zamiast jednej. jedna dioda to mało danych 4 diody to 16 sposobów. Od razu można by było wiedzieć że świeci się taki układ, który mówi, że dzwoniła zona, a akumulator jest naładowany w 10 % i trzeba by podłączyc szubko telefon. Bez uruchamiania ekranu wiedziec wiecej

    1. świetny pomysł z diodami. Jak by miały kolory to faktycznie na 3 diodach mamy 8 stanów , ale jak mamy kolory to 2 diody mogły by pokazać ile procen ma jeszcze telefon, albo na jak długo w godzinach , będzie działac.
      Reszta to powiadomienia lub ZEGAR!

  11. I’ve been using Manjaro for a while now. I like it a lot. Is there any plan to address the widevine issue? As in, it’s not available on Manjaro? I’ve been booting ChromiumOS on a SD whenever I want to stream something, but if Manjaro is going to be the default, would it be worthwhile to include a workaround?

    1. Widevine isn’t an easy issue to tackle sadly. Browser developers and widevine themselves need to work together to make it work, and right now it’s only available for armhf on linux, while manjaro arm uses aarch64.

  12. Thanks a lot for ‘march update’, but i am missing some information about status of PineTab 🙁

    I know that everyone believes his/her own wishes should have highest priority, but i think there is an easy way to decide which product should be produced with highest priority: just open store for all products for 2 weeks (add a big notice that “highest orderamount, first serve”), let customer decide what he/her wants to pay in advance and start production.

    Regardes

  13. Czy przewidujecie dodanie do laptopa zasilania z 12V prąd stały (np. samochód)
    oraz modemu telefonicznego i irdy?

  14. I got a Pinebook Pro from the first batch, the thing is great I love it. But Manjaro is my goto distro and I was happy once a stable release was available. But the thing was barely usable after the install, so many problems I can’t even begin to start to list them. Don’t know why I had such a bad time but I put the default distro back on it and it’s running like a top again. Don’t fix what ain’t broken, eh?

  15. What’s the probability at this stage that there are going to be significant hardware changes between Braveheart and the production run of the pinephone?

    1. None. Components won’t be changing. We will do alterations and improvements to future phones, however, which will mostly center around GPIO ‘rewiring’ and other minor improvements. [edit] This will most likely mean that BH PinePhones and (ver 1.1) and future PinePhones (ver 1.2 onwards) will use different device trees.

  16. Will the Manjaro image come with Panfrost and Widevine? Do we have a link to the image so I could try it out?

  17. We was thinking about using SOPINE compute module in our industrial products.
    Will the SOPINE module also be extended to 2025?

    1. As I wrote, we’ll be making announcements when we secure production and other things ongoing behind the scenes.

  18. Lukasz, you mention structural tweaks for PBP and also in another section that spare parts are coming either later this month or in April. Will those spare parts have the tweaks? I’ve been waiting to order the bottom case and keyboard to convert mine to ANSI so it’d be great news if it’s the latest design too.

  19. Zaciekawiłeś mnie tymi deklaracjami o tablecie jak psion 5 działającym na bateriach AA i z normalna klawiaturą do vi, PgUp.

    Czy móglbys napisac cos więcej? Czy sa jakies koncepcje, czy jakieś rysunki założenia?
    przynzam, że maszyna do pisania, ssh z porządnym gcc i rust chodzi mi po głowie. Wiele osób chciało by pracowac w samym terminalu, nawet nie potrzebuję trybu graficznego, ale długie działanie na jednym ładowaniu jest pociagajace . Myslę ze nie tylko dla mnie.

  20. A laptop with Manjaro pre-installed? No, thanks. Manjaro has numerous problems with updates, packages, frequent crashes, etc and it is based on Arch which is meant for experimentation purposes.

  21. Will there be a PineBook Pro in white chassis? Or are the expanded specs only for black laptop’s? Also. Will the RockChip board get upgraded to support 8 or 16gb of RAM and 8 or 10-core CPU? Will the eMMC come in 256gb or higher? Does the PineBook Pro include a m.2 slot for a second SSD? Can you boot off both eMMC and m.2? Does it include UEFI (so that installing an OS works the same as it does on x86, where you boot off a pendrive, run the installer, partition the disk from the installer, and install the OS and grub2) or the typical ARM propietary, single boot firmware like the ones in smartphones where you need to dump a pre-prepared OS rootfs image on the eMMC?

    1. Thats quite a few questions there. Think it best you join the chat or the forum to get detailed answers. But in short: 1) no white chassis, because they’re plastic, making it impossible to dissipate heat from this SOC without a fan; 2) The RK3399 supports up-to 4GB RAM and has a set number of cores; 3) There are 128GB eMMC modules available – we don’t expect to stock 256GB modulesl 4) Yes, you can boot from eMMC and NVMe; 5) it uses free bootloader – uboot.

      1. So. No chassis color other than black. What material is that chassis, and what other materials exist IN COLORS OTHER THAN BLACK that aren’t plastic and can do the job with regard to heat dissipation. Also are you saying THAT THERE WILL NEVER EXIST A PINEBOOK WITH 8 or 16GB RAM, AND 8 or 10 CORES? and Can uboot show a multicolor graphical POST splash screen and pass control to grub2/use MBR/GPT disklabels? or is it restricted to pre-prepared, single-boot, single-os rootfs images and a text-only menu to select between the rootf in emmc and the one in nvme? Also. Can you set nvme as disk 1 and emmc as disk 2 in the firmware/uboot?

        1. The following are just MY opinions, Juan–
          I’d say that your questions can be divided into two parts: hardware-dependent, and software-dependent.
          Those which are hardware-dependent will never happen: 16 GB RAM; 8/10 cores; non-black magnesium case.
          The software-dependent issues can be solved, but will be solved only by the community, and by OS-supplier efforts (good suggestion regarding nvme and eMMC!).

          One very positive way of looking at this is:
          Pine Microcomputer has gone “…more than the extra mile…” by provided a sterling machine for $199–the Pinebook Pro. Let’s (and this is the more important part) (a) invest the time and effort into using and *LEARNING* what we’ve got; and then, (b) giving Pine the space and time to consider implementing our suggestions, based on what we’ve learned, in their next superb machine…*when* they get the time.

    1. Chińczycy sciemniają, że nie mają zarażeń gdzie widać jasno, że mają. Oficjalne statystyki rozjechały sie z nieoficjalnymi. Zreszta w europie czy usa jest podobnie. Polityka zniszczy wszystko. Jeden burmistrz nie lubi władzy i wpisuje wszystkich jako chorych, drugi akurat lubi i nie wpisuje nic, chyba, że musi.
      (a ilośc zarazonych jest jak w ptasiej grypie z 10 lat temu).

      To oznacza, że będą chcieli wywiazać się i wznowic produkcje. Ale nie pójdzie to tak szybko. Nie ma siły by ot tak uruchomić fabryke, jak ludzi nie ma (bo nie ma jak dojechać, hotele nie działają itd). Fabryki na pewno uruchomią, ale bądzmy szczerzy. Pine jest na końcu łańcucha pokarmowego i najpierw pilniejsze rzeczy trzeba klepać. Dobrze, że cały rynek telefonów spadł. To może ludzie zrozumieją, że kupowanie telefonu co pół roku bo nie ma aktualizacji to przypał. I zaczna rozgladac się za telefonem, który będzie miał wsparcie jeszcze dłużej niż akumulator się wymieni. To w sumie telefon dla ekologistów choć sam nie lubie ekofaszystów .

      P.S. Zastanawia mnie czy nie mozna było by do tabletu i telefonu zrobic klawiatury mechanicznej. Sa fajne klawiatury z tensy albo zrobić z własnym firmware. Taka klawiatura nie dołączana, ale taka, która moge użyć do komputera, telefonu jest dużo lepsza. Sam sobie poustawiam co który klawisz znaczy. firmaware QMK pokazuje że to działa, tylko klawiszy trzeba by przynajmniej 87-112 zrobić i potencjometry do głosności czy jakoś tak.

  22. W sumie to taka klawiatura była by ciekawa. https://bankfotek.pl/view/2148464 (zdjęcie pochodzi z https://mechkeys.tech/2017/05/newest-family-member-xd75re/ i sa inne warianty np. https://mechkeys.tech/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/keyboard-layout-nordic.png ) Kto chce, ten wstawi sobie podwójne spacje albo i dłuższe. Kto chce przeniesie AltGr gdzie chce a ktoś go wyrzuci w oprogramowaniu (firmware) samej klawiatury. Oczywiście keycaps, czyli same kołpaki na klawisze moga być od razu w różnych kolorach i z opisami (jest tego pełno w sieci, kolorowe, różne alfabety).
    Nie będzie marudzenia, że mi układ nie pasuje.

    Jeśli klawiatura miała by jeszcze miejsce na Pine64 i połączenia to moglibyśmy miec komputer w klawiaturze (jak kiedyś commodore64), gdzie tylko kablem podłączamy do monitora HDMI, kablem do zasilania (ładowarka od telefonu), niech ma ze 3 wyjścia usb jak bysmy chcieli podłączyć mysz, modem, kamerę itd. Dodałbym te potencjometry np. po prawej i lewej w samej obudowie, nawet przymocowane po prostu do obudowy pod kątem 90 stopni, albo jako kółka wystające tylko niewiele po za brzeg obudowy.
    Dodać by trzeba było z kilka diód (by się nie pogubic jak klawiatura działa, jaki tryb, zwykła klawiatura ma 4 diody, jedna na caps lock, i 3 na przełączniki, tu można by dac kolorowe i np. z 10 porozmieszczane w róznych miejscach, może w niektórych klawiszach i na około numerycznych? Oczywiście samo pine64 mogło by być opcjonalne. Jeśli nie włożymy to mamy klawiature do komputera , do tabletu, do telefonu. A jak włożymy to mamy cały komputer.
    Taka klawiatura była by mniejsza niż zwykła klawiatura bez bloku numerycznego bo strzałki zajma mniej miejsca, niższa bo nie ma odległości między numerycznymi [email protected]##%$%^^&&&* a funkcyjnymi.
    Proponuję brązowe przełączniki. Sa w miare uniwersalne. Ja wole czerwone, ale na brazowych wszyscy pisza ok. Taka klawiatura kosztowała by z 300-400zł i była by hakowalna. A z pine64 i ethernetem była by pełnoprawnym komputerem.

    JESTEM ZA!

  23. Nie wiem czy było by miejsce ale w takiej dołączanej klawiaturze można by było zmieścić akumulator od telefonu. Wtedy w momencie gdy chcemy pisac na komórce lub tablecie podłączamy kabel usb do klawiatury i mamy i ładowanie i obsługe klawiszy. Bardzo mobilne rozwiązanie.
    W sumie to nawet power bank wyszedł. A noszenie dwóch oddzielnych elementów jest jak najbardziej zgodne z filozofią unix-a. Jedno narzędzie do jednej rzeczy, ale za to bardzo szybkie i dobrze wykonane.

    Są jeszcze takie propozycje https://howchoo.com/g/zgmzytq1mmy/raspberry-pi-in-official-pi-keyboard
    https://www.hackster.io/news/how-to-put-a-raspberry-pi-inside-the-official-raspberry-pi-keyboard-75f64b51ca5d
    https://blog.pimoroni.com/putting-a-raspberry-pi-3-a-in-the-raspberry-pi-keyboard/ ale mi układ nie odpowiada

      1. Ale ja Ci to pisałem na irc juz bardzo dawno temu, tu napisałem by sie nie zmarnowało bo pewnie zapomniałeś o naszej rozmowie.

  24. If this mechanical keyboard actually has so many keys 16×6 plus these diodes, usb and what you still described there, this pile will be a separate product.

  25. What is with the Pinetab ? I really want to have this device . With Manjaro it would be a nice option 🙂 Please I wait a so long time for it .

  26. Hi,

    i had a look into your shop and i was wondering about the costs for transport to europe… 39 $???
    It seems to be too much. Is that really correct? Should be 10 $ for standard shipping, right? 🙂

    Regardes

    1. It ships using DHL Express since it is device with a large battery. The shipping is very fast (3-7 days worldwide) and tracking is solid, hence the cost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *