PineTab-V and PineTab2 launch

Lukasz Erecinski Apr 10. 2023 32

The PineTab2 and PineTab-V pre-orders begin on April 13th. Both tablets feature a 1200×800 10.1” IPS LCD panel with wide viewing angles, a sturdy metal metal chassis, two USB-C ports (1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 with charging), a digital video out port, a front 2MPx and rear 5MPx camera as well as a 6000mAh battery. Both come bundled with a magnetically fitted detachable backlit keyboard (connecting via pogo pins using USB 2.0 protocol) that doubles up as a carry case, and are available in two hardware configurations: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 64GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage and 8GB LPDDR4 RAM / 128GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage. Finally the PineTab2 and PineTab-V both start at $159. 

On the outside the only thing that differentiates the two devices is the color of the chassis: the PineTab-V is deep matte black while PineTab2 is silver-gray. But the real difference between the two resides on the inside. The PineTab2 features the well supported RK3566 64-bit Arm SoC, which has been a part of our line-up for over a year, and the tablet ships with a build of DanctNix Arch Linux for Arm. The software can be best described as early but very serviceable, and there is little doubt that before long improvements will be made and additional functionality enabled. Like the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro before it, the PineTab2 will reach a high degree of functionality in time and make for a great work or entertainment travel companion.

Left: PineTab2 PCB with RK3566 || Right: PineTab-V with JH7110

Unlike the PineTab2, the PineTab-V is based on the JH7110 64-bit RISC-V SoC. In late 2022 we announced our plans to help grow the RISC-V hardware ecosystem alongside our existing Arm-based device line-up (see 2023 Sneak Peek section in December Community Update) – to this end the PineTab-V is to the Star64 single board computer released earlier this month what the PineTab2 is to the Quartz64. The JH7110 RISC-V SoC, and the RISC-V architecture in more general, is currently best described as having limited Linux support. The PineTab-V is therefore an experimental device, which ships without an OS and without any promises. You can think of it as a convenient development platform targeted at those of you interested in bringing Linux support to JH7110 and, by extension, the entire RISC-V ecosystem. 

To sum it up, the two tablets launching on April 13 look near-identical but in actuality are very different devices. The PineTab2 is Arm-based, ships with working software, has solid Linux support that will only get better with time, and has an already-established community of developers waiting for their units to arrive. The PineTab-V is built upon a RISC-V SoC and holds much promise but comes without working software. The PineTab-V is an experimental device geared towards developers and those who wish to explore the architecture. The open source community surrounding RISC-V is just taking shape and still growing, and we hope that the PineTab-V will further solidify this community and help accelerate development.  

* PineTab2 and PineTab-V pre-orders will be available under the ‘Tablets’ category (drop-down) starting Thursday, April 13th

32 responses to “PineTab-V and PineTab2 launch”

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    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    It will be available for purchase in the EU store but with some delay. Paperwork needs to be filed for CE, RED & RoHS declarations of conformity (and other documents) need to be green-lit. This takes time unfortunately.

    I guess because of the perfect size and low price. A cheap USB SDR is only $20 USD, so this would be great for a grab-and-go device. I want to get both version. The ARM for everyday use and the RISC-V for development/learning RISC-V.

    Will a noob Linux user be able to use the PineTab2 out of the box and update/flash it? I mean, is the pre-installed distro user friendly enough for noobs and is it easy enough to flash the machine if need be (without expert Linux skills)? Cheers! Looking forward to PineTab2!

    If it’s anything like the Quartz64 board (or the PinePhone), then “flashing” could just be a case of writing an image to a microSD card and inserting it. Though this will run the entire system from that SD card.
    Flashing the internal MMC is a little more involved, but not too bad if you use something like JumpDrive –

    Of course, updating doesn’t require re-flashing, and can be handled via an app in Phosh (the main GUI I would presume comes installed) or via a single command in the terminal if you wish to go that way.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    If you are truly a beginner then I’d wait a little bit as the early software has some annoying quirks – e.g. lack of BT functionality or enabling WiFi from terminal.

    Frank Earl says:

    Heh. Why am I unsurprised? (Not negative…) Most of this class is initially a toy for the likes of myself.

    I want the PineTab-V due to the fact that it is newest and potentially faster, just beause it is risc-v hardware.

    That is not how it works… the software and firmware support will directly result in actual performance gains. So, expect to be behind the development curve on risc, but definitely worth investing in at whatever level can be achieved realistically. Keep in mind arm has taken years just for pine to get this far; the process is on-going. 🙂

    Frank Earl says:

    Thank you. Someone sane in the convo. 😀

    It’s expected to see much of the disparity between a comparable ARM and this device to shrink over the next 6-12 months. This is a NEW systems engineering effort whereas the ARM based stuff is old hat and has best, cleanest optimizations in GCC and LLVM going on. It’s already known that neither compiler produces best code for almost all cases like you see with Power, X86, and ARM. That alone explains a lot of what Geerling observed in his preview of the VisionFive 2 as it currently is. Combine that with just brought up driver code for some of the cores IN the SoC, so on and so forth…it’s not for the novice and of COURSE it’s “slow” compared to the ARM devices.

    I’m reserving judgement for now. We’ll see if it’s as “poor” as we see it right now.

    Frank Earl says:

    If you’re looking at Jeff Geerling’s PREVIEW of the board (couldn’t really be called a review) then you’d have known that a lot of the benchmarks are more due to it being that new- not that it’s a foregone like you’re making it out to be.

    We don’t know the full potential of the device in question right now overall- because people like myself are working on making it fire and forget, optimized, etc. One of the problems we have right now is that it’s KNOWN that GCC and LLVM really don’t make optimal choices in code gen for the RISC-V, which is a PART of the observed at least. Sooo… If you want to be honest…this is an early adopter class of device in the case of ANY JH7110 device for MANY reasons. The least of which is that you need hardcore Embedded Linux skills to even WORK with it right now and make it a daily driver for anything. It’s not a novice’s machine nor is it being SOLD as such. So, please…refrain from remarks of it being slower for right now and make accurate statements like I just did.

    Frank Earl says:

    Using WHAT as benchmarks? Geekbench? If so, you’re not really measuring the performance. Also worth note that GCC and LLVM periodically produce duff results in optimization for the CPU. With that sort of thing throwing off branch prediction, etc. you’re going to see it slower. Seriously…you’re not comparing apples to apples right at this moment with **ANY** benchmarks.

    Aleš Ferlan says:

    Just out of curiosity would you be interested in creating a RISC-V board compatible with Framework laptop?

    Franz Thiemann says:

    That would be really cool. combining the build quality of a framework with risc hardware could be a gamechanger. However, the framework main board does a lot of things, like charging and I have not yet seen a pine device which correctly implements USB-Powerdelivery.

    Anon654863 says:

    I thought the pinetab V was a april fools joke. Its fn real!? Call me amazed.
    Although i guess offering a convenient all in one dev platform for Keyboard, trackpad and touch screen on risc V could pay off in the long run.

    Frank Earl says:

    Yeah, it’ll be helpful in the long run. I’m surprised (though I should probably not be…sigh…) at the number of people that’re bagging on all of this without really having a good handle on what all this really happens to be.

    It’s not an ARM replacement. YET.
    It’s not going to best the PineTab 2. Regardless of what rattles out of the efforts at this time.

    Probably not. BLISS OS seems to be 80×86-based, and the PineTab2 is an ARM machine. If I mis-read, and BLISS has a version for ARM, then it would be worth trying.

    Any idea when they will reach the customers? Do they start shipping soon after pre-order or it one of those things where you wait months/year like a kickstarter? I am in the US and want to pre-order on launch day.

    Janice Halligan says:

    Hello from Canada! I have been watching and hoping to purchase a Pine device. This announcement has me wondering how best I can order and whether delivery to Canada has been sorted. A year ago, maybe two… when I was considering a purchase there were as I recall gaps in the method of getting things here. Here being a small island off the coast of British Columbia (in case that helps with answers 😉 )

    Thanks very much and keep up the good work (projects)!

    Any hints on what happened to Star64? I’ve been looking at it since midnite of launch day (my timezone) and it has always been “Out-of-stock”.

    Paul Black says:

    It sold out around China’s noon. It was apparently sold out within 30 minutes of launch unfortunately. I really want one too!

    Rainer Dorsch says:

    Can anybody tell why pine64 uses in 2023 a 1200×800 display for a 10.1 inch tablet? My Galaxy Tab S2 had in 2015 a 2048 × 1536 display (for a 9.7 inch tablet).

    I guess, the reason is: very affordable price.
    From my personal experience, I spent 699.00 USD on JingPad A1 (2021-12-22), and it is a nice piece of hardware, BUT it is a “Halium” Linux tablet 🙁 .
    The fact is that I have been using my pine64 devices (Pinephone1.2, PinePhonePro, PineBookPro, ROCKPro64) 95% of the time, and 5% with JinPad A1.

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