In this article, I’ll be guiding you through Pinebook pro review. Pinebook pro is not actually a consumer product. This tool is built for a specific audience. This gadget is a Linux laptop. It comes with tons of great features. Features like microSD card slots can help you to run other operating systems.
Pinebook pro is a 14″laptop that is been made for developers and users of Linux. This laptop might not really be considered top-notch but it can get stuff done just in time.
Let go through the specifications of this laptop.
Specifications of pinebook pro:
OS: Manjaro Linux.
CPU: Hex-core big.LITTLE clusters. 2×ARM A-72 2.0GHz 4×ARM A-53.1GHz.
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4.
GPU: ARM Mail T860MP4 UHD.
WI-FI: AMPAK AP6256. 1×1 dual-band 802.11ac+Bluetooth.
SSD: SanDIsk iNAND 7232. 64GiB eMMC.
BATTERY: 10000 [email protected]
DISPLAY: 14″1080p color active Matrix TFT LCD.
CONNECTIVITY: On the left side:
Barrel DC jack.
- USB3 type A.
- USB3 type C (this type of USB can be used for typing).
On the right side:
- USB2 type A.
- 3.5mm headset jack.
- MicroSD slot.
The most important thing you have to know about this gadget’s specifications is that it is not an x86 device. It is a big. LITTLE ARM clustered gadget.
What makes Pinebook Pro Unique?
Pinebook pro at one glance usually look and feel like MacBook Air. However, what set this gadget apart is that it doesn’t have a touchpad that is over-sized. The lid at the bottom of this gadget is made from a matte finish magnesium alloy. It is quite beautiful to behold. For a laptop that cost just $200, the 1920×1080 screen is extremely great. They have a competent keyboard and touchpad.
Effectiveness and Efficiency:
This laptop uses eMMC for storage. Actually, if that is not enough for you, you can go ahead and upgrade it to NVMe SSD storage, however, NVMe uses more power to function. Battery life is actually great, it can last up to 6-8 hours.
The laptop is worth only $200+ it shipping fee. This for me is an unbeatable boot Linux value. It is laptop has been known to be great for kids who want to learn how to code. When compared to some laptops that are of the same price, this laptop will definitely come out top.
While using this laptop, you’ll notice some challenges. Let go through each one of them.
- The battery of this laptop usually drains down very heavily, while your using it. Well, depending on your workload, you’ll notice that the battery will start going down very slowly. Another thing you’ll also notice is that it may not be charging even after you have connected the AC adpater.
- It supports ARM only
This is not entirely a bad thing. In 2013, about 10 billion ARM were created and today almost all the smartphones that is made, it made of ARM-based chips. This gadget does not support AMD64, and they are so many important desktop apps that do not support arm64. This app includes Skype, Dropbox, and others. This means you have to find alternative means just so that you can enjoy these applications.
Some of the apps that you might need to use their alternative.
- Skype: Skype does not support arm64, the alternative major is to set up the Chrome extension.
- Termius: This app could not be installed into this laptop, the alternative major is to make use of Remmina, or you can also use Terminator.
- Clipboard indicator: You’ll have to use ClipIt for now.
- Dropbox: Dropbox doesn’t support arm64, so instead you have to opt for Dropbox sync bash script.
- Spotify: This is another app that doesn’t install in the pinebook pro.
Performance of Pinebook Pro
Due to the average build-up of the hardware, which includes CPU, storage, and just 4GB in terms of RAM. I’ll suggest you look for alternative ways to boost the speed of this gadget to avoid low performance of this gadget while using the apps that are installed on this gadget. Using Chrome on this gadget might be considerably slower.
The Hardware and Design of pinebook pro
On the back of this laptop is a cold black magnesium. There is no logo at the back. At the bottom of this laptop is a clean black sheet of magnesium alloy. It comes with rubber feet. These rubber feet actually keep the laptop steady while you’re making use of it.
It also has a two-speaker grill on the edges of the laptop. On the left edge of the gadget, you’ll notice a LED indicator for charging, you’ll also notice a barrel-shaped power adaptor, a USB type A port and also a USB Type C port. You can use the USB Type C port for data, charging, and video output.
At the edge of this gadget, you’ll see a MicroSD card slot, you’ll also notice a 3.5mm headset jack, and another USB Type-A port. Another thing you’ll notice about this laptop is it bazel. The bazel overlaps the keyboard handrest. This is one feature that makes it quite easy to open the computer.
It has a 14″ screen. This 14″ 1080p screen isn’t that cool. The screen of this device has a matte finish that doesn’t reflect when it is been hit by light. It has a very decent size when it comes to trackpad.
Okay, what of the webcam of this device? The webcam is only 1080px resolution. A lot of people consider it not too good but it works just fine.
Keys of pinebook pro
The power button is usually located at the upper right corner. To activate the power, you’ll have to hold it down for a couple of seconds. The power button of this gadget is quite easy to press. Just by clicking on the power button, you’ll notice that the suspend/Restart/power-off option will pop up. The usually pops up in the default operating system, this will help you to choose what you desire to do next.
One other thing that set this gadget apart is the super key that is in between the FN and Alt buttons. This key is usually called the super key.
This is one of the best features of this laptop. The MicroSD of this laptop is actually bootable. You can actually burn images and another operating system into the MicroSD. After burning, you can go ahead and insert this MicroSD into the pinebook pro. Then, go ahead and switch it on.
Once it is switched on, your laptop will be ruined off of whatever software and operating system that you had put into the MicroSD. This particular feature makes this laptop very much enjoyable to use. Booting the MicroSD will automatically leave the native internal operating system in the internal eMMc storage of the laptop to function without any additional load. If at any point you desire to switch back to the default Linus OS, all you’ll have to do is to switch off the laptop, take out tgr MicroSD and then switch it back on.
This laptop has over 1000mAh. With this capacity, this laptop can last throughout the day, depending on your usage. Obviously, the capacity to last long will vary between two people. What may actually vary depending on the operating system that you use is the mileage and the programs that you consistently use. You can go all day with the system without your charger. You can adequately expect 6-8 hours of usage with this laptop.
With all this being said, let go through the pros and cons of this laptop.
We’ll start with Pros:
- Doesn’t have a logo, It is designed with a black metal body, which makes it a beautiful sight to look at.
- It has a 1000mAh battery capacity.
- The hardware of this laptop is very easy to update and replace.
- The MicroSD of this laptop is bootable.
- It has a pre-installed Debian Linux.
- It is quite cheap to purchase, costing just $200.
- For a lot of people, 4Gb RAM is considered too low.
- The base of this laptop can get very hot with heavy and consistent processing.
- Doesn’t support some apps.
- ARM version of Linux and some Linux programs are usually not good enough, so you’ll have to expect some software bugs.
This little black laptop might not be appreciated by everyone, but they is no doubt that you’ll definitely enjoy using this laptop. Pine actually described the pinebook pro as an alternative to Chromebook. This is because a lot of consumers buy Chromebook so that they’ll install Linux into them. If for any reason you want something that will open a web browser and allows you to view and visit webpages like Chromebook, then I’d not recommend this laptop for you. I’ll love to advise that the pinebook pro shouldn’t be your only your computer, this is because their operating system is still developing.
So the big question why should you choose the pinebook pro? Well, if you want to know more about Linux or ARM development with options to quickly and easily boot plenty of other operating system off a memory card, then pinebook pro is actually the best option for you.