Is the Pinebook Pro worth getting?

This is isn’t about ARM SoCs per say but…

I just want to know is know from those who own a Pinebook Pro is do they consider this Notebook worth the trouble getting one vs a x86-64 Notebook that is Priced at $200?

My concern besides the being ARM based, is the trouble of getting one due to the way Pine64 orders them. They place Orders from the Company locate on the China Mainland, when they they enough Orders from Customers to get them from the Manufacturer that Produces them.

I could end up paying more due to Customs.

Now other then that, as far as using the Notebook, How does it compare to $200 Windows Notebooks at like say Walmart and other places?

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As a Pinebook Pro owner and never having bought a $200 windows laptop I can’t compare the experience. I can tell you something about my experiance in buying and using one.

It can take a while to get one shipped, you will have to pay import fee’s for your location (if applicable).
As for use cases, it all depends on what your requirements are for the device. For me it does exactly what I need it to do. Mobile web en e-mail, switch to new flavour distribution with a spare SD card. The attraction of the Pinebook for me is a open & not so costly linux laptop to use on the go. I would not want to gamble $200 on a cheap notebook and hope the hardware is supported on Linux. Buying a Pinebook (and other products from Pine64 is also buying the philosophy.

The goal of Pine64 is to make affordable ARM hardware for and with developers en interested users.
The goal of the wallmarts in this world is to sell you a thing, don’t care what it is as long as it somewhat fits into the ‘making money’ part of the company.


It really depends on what do you want to use it for. I use it as a side computer for movies, old games, browsing and sometimes programming. It does the job nicely, I appreciate it’s weight, display and battery life.

On the other hand speakers suck, touchpad is quite bad, and whole system isn’t exactly snappy. Moreover you might have issues with getting some things to work, notably:

  • USB C video output was unavailable for quite a while
  • I don’t think USB C sound works on Manjaro
  • Hardware acceleration for video doesn’t work without quite a bit of work, which results in higher battery usage when watching movies
  • When I’ve been having a Discord conversation laptop was discharging quite rapidly despite being plugged in
  • You might have issues with availability of some software since it’s an ARM computer

Only Windows laptop in this price range I’ve had some(~1 hour of fiddling) experience with was Jumper EZBook 3 Pro. Frankly, Pinebook seemed better and snappier, but I suppose stuff on EZBook “just works”.

You’ll get better answers if you write what do you want to use it for.

I also want something that designed for using FOSS OSes. Such as Linux and the BSDs.

Sorry I intended to post this earlier.

Well it is due to being designed for using Linux. Although not all Linux Distros support ARM SoCs. Just x86-64 CPUs, and most those don’t support 32-Bit x86 Processors anymore, even those with PAE support.

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I was a little disappointed by the general quality of the Pinebook Pro. I’ve had mine since the second batch were delivered. The keyboard has been plagued by phantom double key presses since the beginning. Other than that, the case is breaking on the underside (where the bottom cover meets it). The rear case standoffs have all broken and the monitor hinge appears to have broken off on the one side. When it finally falls apart I don’t think I’ll buy another one. Having said that, the build quality of the PinePhone appears much better, so maybe things are improving. I’d get whatever model comes after the Pinebook Pro.

The the Pinebook Pro is in the Beta(?) Stage including some of the Distros. I to check but does RISC OS support the Pinebook Pro?

Note I’m not familiar with ARM SoCs at all. Yes I know that ARM is an ISA one can license if they willing to pay the Fee and Royalties per CPU/SOC.

I’ve been grasping with this too. It’s really frustrating to see apple pump out an amazing arm product and then all of the SoC that are even close to in the ballpark are so closed up hardware support wise that we’re all left with the already-reverse-engineered SOCs from 2016 and 2017 cores. I daily drive a Raspberry Pi 4b and it’s OC to 2.0. The pinebook should be faster, a little, but only on multi core, but I’d argue that single core is where the linux arm world is hurting now anyway–just slow right now. Me personally, I’ll be waiting for the offerings that come out now that apple has… well… disrupted. I hope pine64 offers something faster too as I’d rather support them than somebody else. For me, since I already have a laptop that is a beast x86_64 and am getting my arm fix on raspberry pi, it’s a tough sell, but I would totally get one in principal. Out of all the things you’ll try to do on one, facebook and discord will be the hardest. Just a heads up, lol.

How performance does the Raspberry Pi compared to Modern X86-64 CPU? I’m not sure if the Pi4 is still a low end SBC or a Mid-Range one. Especially that you now get one with 8GB if you wanted.

It’s nowhere close to a modern x86_64 cpu. It’s definitely a high end SBC though. These are two different classes of systems with different goals. I’d say it’s a little more usable than my 2010 macbook pro core2 duo with linux on it. It has more ram, so you can do more things, but speed wise, it’s pretty close on processor, but there are 4 cores, so it… feels quicker in many respects. It’s NOTHING compared to my ryzen 3700x, 3600, or i7-9700 laptop (yes, laptop with a desktop processor in it, because, why not.)

What about the Pinebook Pro? Mid-Range or High-end SoC/SBC? Looking at the Manufacturer of the SoC, I’m thinking Mid-Range.

“If my grandmother had wheels she’d be a bicycle.”

The pinebook pro is faster than the pi 4. It’s got the same quad cores plus two low additional efficiency cores. It just comes with 4GB of ram, which, honestly, is fine. You can’t compare them both as SBCs because, while they are both SoC, only one is an SBC, and the other is a laptop. The Pi 4b murders the pinebook in the “can you fit me in tight places” metric, but the pinebook is a legit laptop, albeit slow compared to other legit laptops that are x86. If you want to benchmark them both, the pinebook will make a better desktop environment if you ran the same software on both just because of the two additional cores. Pinebook pro comes with plasma, pi 4 ships with lxde/pixel. Sure, they both use the same fast cortex cores, but they’re different SoCs, one has more cores, and the other has more… ability to fit in a project box and drive 16 servos and an e-paper display while playing mp3s and rotating photos on two different hdmi outputs. See what I mean? The only thing they really have in common are 4 cortex a72 cores and lpddr ram. Technically almost all laptops now days have a single board, but single board computers are a different thing entirely. Ryzen laptops would qualify as amazing SBCs!

There are really three things at play here: SBC, dev boards, and laptops. SBCs that are super slow and sip power are in high demand, where as nobody wants slow laptops. Dev boards are SBCs that allow full blown amazing SoCs to be driven like a computer with full io, but they generally only have drivers for android and are essentially “blown out phones.” The pinebook pro takes a chip that traditionally is targeted at mobile and SBC and tries to make a laptop out of it. They do a good job, but it is what it is, and the market is very likely about to shift as apple just wrecked the concept of arm not having a place on the desktop by making the change from x86 to arm go smoother than their switch from powerpc to intel. It’s almost like they did it before and were planning to do it again, because they were, and now the entire game has changed, and I hope pine64 keeps up. One of two things is going to happen: they will make great laptops and do well because of new SoC offerings that are far more powerful, or they will get rendered obsolete like TiVo when the rest of the industry goes where they were going and they vanish. I imagine it will be the former because it’s not like they were competing with mac and windows before.

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I was thinking that the Pinebook Pro used the Rock64 Pro SBC offer that the Company offers. I will have to look at the Webpage/Forum itself.

To bad the Company doesn’t the Funds to Order enough their of Products to be able keep that them in Stock. At least the ones that are most popular anyway.

The Pinebook Pro uses a custom RockPro64 board, designed for laptop formfactor.

The reason why the Pinebook Pro is out of stock right now, is LCD supply shortage. Since the covid19 situation started and the chinese factories closed down for a while in the spring, there has not been enough LCD’s made in 2020. This means that the companies willing to pay much more for the LCD display, then regular price, have bought them all. Think companies like Dell and Lenovo.
Pine64 estimates it will have access to LCD displays again after chinese new year (which is in februrary). Before that, no new laptops can be made.

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There no other LCD Manufacturers outside of China they could temporary use instead to order those from?

I would think that LCDs for Notebook 14" Screens would be commonplace by new.

I thing I would want in any Laptop is a single wide Hinge that is easily broken like the two smaller farther apart Hinges. This is really out stupid design to use. I to look and see which ones the PBP has.

Not at around that price point.

Pine64 as it is, does not really make any money of the Pinebook Pros, so buying more expensive components is not possible for them.

In other words: It’s better than walking, but a bicycle won’t pull a trailer. At least not reliably. And not for very far, either.

Things aren’t the same because they share a common attribute.

You never seen a Trailer attach to bicycle before? I see them all of the time. Ever since I gotten my Bike at 30 Y/O I have quickly notice a few kids are riding one now. Come to think of it, I need to start reading my bike again. I don’t why I stopped to begin with.

  1. I strongly suspect you meant ‘riding’. Because if not, we require a demonstration.
  2. Stopping is EXACTLY the opposite of starting…

I’ve seen them. Although, over here they’re not common.
And as you can see, I’ve made corrections and added definitions. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

They are too! They share grandmother!

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