If you’re looking for a dirt cheap low-power portable Linux laptop you’ll want to keep an eye on this, the Pinebook.
The 2GB PineA64 is in use in the Pinebook is described as a ‘high-performance’ analog to the Raspberry Pi, and comes with the following specs:
- 64-Bit Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53¹ @ 1.2 Ghz
- 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Dual Core Mali 400 MP2 Graphics
- 16 GB eMMC
- Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
- 1.3MP webcam
- 10,000 mAh LiPo battery
The Pinebook pitches up as 2 separate models, differentiated solely by screen size: an 11.6-inch version priced at $89, or a $99 model with a 14 inch screen.
Despite the differing screen sizes both push the same (lacklustre) resolution of 1280×720 but, on the plus side, it is an IPS display rather than a matte LCD like that on the NexDock.).
The 14-inch model is listed as having a spacious 5-inch touchpad, a full-size keyboard, and the clamshell has a thickness (when closed) of 0.47-inches at its fattest end.
The Pinebook looks to offer an okay selection of ports, including:
- 2x USB 2.0
- MicroSD card slot
- Courage jack (aka ‘headphone jack’)
- Mini HDMI out
As this is an ARM laptop it won’t ship with Windows. Instead, the Pine64 community offer a range of supported Linux-based operating systems, ranging from a ChromiumOS, Remix OS, Android, and — hurrah — Ubuntu.
It’s not currently clear which OS (if any) the device will be sold with.
While you shouldn’t expect the performance of a $499 laptop, the performance of the A64 with 2GB RAM should be able to handle basic computing tasks, multimedia, and so on.
Not Available to Buy …Yet
The laptop isn’t available to buy just yet, but Pine64 is letting those who are interested register to be notified when it is release.
The specs aren’t a knock-out by any stretch, but the combination of price, form-factor and versatile Linux operating system makes it an interesting proposition, sitting part way between tinkerer’s toy and genuinely useful laptop.
CNX Software, via Michal
¹It is an AllWinner SoC, which may put you off