Pinebook Open-Source ARM based notebook (spectre safe)


sebt3

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custom linux os or something like debian?
It's a debian buster. The only thing not from the official debian repos are : u-boot, the kernel and gl4es (as far as I can see so far).
Strangely, they choosed to put an armhf debian instead of an arm64 though. that could be reflashed, but for what ? the kernel itself is aarch64 though.

I ordered a Pinebook pro too, it's supposed to arrive in february.. Good to read you're satisfied, it eases my mind a bit ;)
Ease it more than a little then. Hardware wise, it look very solid (unlike the not pro version). The screen is awsome : no glare, very large view angle and very clear. The device is very thin and very light too
Since gl4es is installed by default, games from the repo works as intended.
I've installed kde-plasma, and it behave just like on an x86_64 laptop, Chromium with many tabs do works. And still over 2.9G of free RAM.
ptitSeb confirmed that box86 should/will work on this too
So far my only issue is that netflix is not working out of the box (or maybe at all)

I dont see yet what not to like about it
 

Elw3

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Hows the battery time on that thing?
I am looking for an ebook reader, but those arent any cheaper so i can probbaly just buy such a laptop.
 

sebt3

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Hows the battery time on that thing?
I am looking for an ebook reader, but those arent any cheaper so i can probbaly just buy such a laptop.
Code:
upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_rk_bat
  native-path:          rk-bat
  power supply:         yes
  updated:              mar. 14 janv. 2020 02:25:02 UTC (9 seconds ago)
  has history:          yes
  has statistics:       yes
  battery
    present:             yes
    rechargeable:        yes
    state:               discharging
    warning-level:       none
    energy:              41,5128 Wh
    energy-empty:        0 Wh
    energy-full:         41,5128 Wh
    energy-full-design:  0 Wh
    energy-rate:         2,81125 W
    voltage:             4,236 V
    time to empty:       14,8 hours
    percentage:          100%
    temperature:         18,8 degrees C
    capacity:            100%
    technology:          lithium-ion
    icon-name:          'battery-full-symbolic'
 

Elw3

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Thanks
15 hours is a number i would be pleased with, provided the etimation isnt too far off.
Is energy-rate: 2,81125 W what is currently used? Appears to be ridicilous low for that big screen.
 

sebt3

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Thanks
15 hours is a number i would be pleased with, provided the etimation isnt too far off.
Is energy-rate: 2,81125 W what is currently used? Appears to be ridicilous low for that big screen.
at that time only konsole and with backlighting at about 25%. Think about it as a usable maximum.
But imho 6-8 hours sound likely doable with a more normal use case (ith sme video in between and such)

Can I ask for a estimate duration at full tasking?
Define "full tasking", because for most definition of "full tasking" the cpu is sleeping most of the time :p
 

Eight Bit

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I received my Pinebook last monday and so far I think it's an amazing device and I love it for what it is.

A quick review:

The software update went smooth, after I had executed that, the mrFixit update icon appeared on my desktop which added netflix support. I checked; netflix works. So does the spotify web player, youtube and the dutch NPO site (streaming television). Yay already!

The touchpad movement detection is mediocre. I can move my finger in zigzags up and down or left and right of 0,5 cm and the mouse pointer won't move. This makes it feel like the mouse pointer is lagging behind a bit. But with some practice of movement prediction it's surely not unusable.

It looks like either the resolution of the touchpad is not high enough, or the threshold of movement detection in the software is set too broad.

But; as I prefer a mouse anyway I plugged in a wireless Logitech USB dongle. It did not work in the USB3 port but does work in the USB2 one.

The screen is very nice. The brightness can go very low and very high. The resolution is great and the fact that the screen is non-glare matte make it look real classy.

The keyboard is good. it types light with an audible click. So far not so many typo's. The keys are of a nice size.

The battery lifetime is great, I brought it fully charged to work yesterday, unplugged it at 07:30 and it had 23% battery left when I got home at 18:00. Usage had been mediocre but it had been on practically all day.
I ended up plugging it back in around midnight when I went to bed. It had 4% battery left but I had the lid open and closed several times during the evening.

I spent some time customizing the shell to my liking and I'm really happy with how it looks now.



Although surely not the fastest there is, the laptop is spiffy enough for comfortably browsing, typing, enjoying media or doing some coding on the couch,

My conclusion: The Pinebook pro is "a diamond in the rough" which can improve with some (community) effort.

I feel the PBP is a device well worth it's money. Even with the shipment, VAT and import tax added. (Netherlands)
 

sebt3

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The touchpad movement detection is mediocre. I can move my finger in zigzags up and down or left and right of 0,5 cm and the mouse pointer won't move. This makes it feel like the mouse pointer is lagging behind a bit. But with some practice of movement prediction it's surely not unusable.
Have you updated the touhpad firmware ? https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/Pinebook_Pro#Trackpad
It would probably fix most your grips, because I dont have that issue. (and remember, it's a multi-touch, 2 finger scroll and so on)


Although surely not the fastest there is, the laptop is spiffy enough for comfortably browsing, typing, enjoying media or doing some coding on the couch,
I doubt you can find an arm laptop with a faster CPU. If you do, please let me know.
 

Eight Bit

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Have you updated the touhpad firmware ? https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/Pinebook_Pro#Trackpad
It would probably fix most your grips, because I dont have that issue. (and remember, it's a multi-touch, 2 finger scroll and so on)
Yes I have just done that. It didn't make it any better. ;)
The process scared the living daylights out of me because the flashing didn't go as it should, I got segmentation faults. After some research I found that I had to set my keyboard in debian back to English (UK) and after that flashing worked correctly.

I doubt you can find an arm laptop with a faster CPU. If you do, please let me know.
Sorry, I wasn't talking ARM specifically, more as a laptop in general ;)
 

sebt3

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an update on my feeling about the pinebook pro.
I got netflix working (the same way Eight Bit did, otherwise I knew about the script to install the missing lib so I was about to do it this way). Buuutttt
Sound is the issue. Since they decided to use the headphone plug as UART with an internal switch, Sometimes, you lose sound output : like when suspending.
Also other user have no acces to sound even if in the right groups (audio), and I havent found the reason yet. And sound doesnt work with plasma for some reason...
 

Eight Bit

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I haven't had any sound issues yet, though I read on irc and the pine64 forum that some people experience the same issue.
Also I read that people are having issues with chromium crashing when opening the settings but I haven't experienced that either.... So either I got lucky, or I have or haven't done something that people who do experience problems have or have not done... I'm unsure what that would be though...
I'm more and more happy with my pinebook. The keyboard is just awesome, so is the screen. The speed is sufficient and the trackpad; well... it's okay... Not fantastic but I can work with it. Netflix works but it has some frame drops, maybe in due time that will improve. Youtube works fine, so does the NPO site.
I also installed Kodi and that works but has horrible screen tearing. It's weird because when I play the same video in the chromium browser, there is no screen tearing. I couldn't find any vsync or other video options in kodi to troubleshoot this...
My guess is that in due time the community will improve the drivers and the device will function better overall... Just like the Pandora did and the Pyra will.

Anyway, I'm a fan! :)
 
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sebt3

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Also I read that people are having issues with chromium crashing when opening the settings but I haven't experienced that either....
I had this ... until I used that upgrade script

I also installed Kodi and that works but has horrible screen tearing. It's weird because when I play the same video in the chromium browser, there is no screen tearing. I couldn't find any vsync or other video options in kodi to troubleshoot this...
Chromium is using hardware acceleration, Kodi might not...

If I had not these sound issues, it would be my go everywhere device. I'm still looking forward to fix these (busy elsewhere right now)
 

Eight Bit

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If I had not these sound issues, it would be my go everywhere device.
according to the messages on the pine64 forum, running that update script should also fix your audio after suspend bug.

I updated to 2.0 last night and now netflix doesn't work anymore. Running the wiidevine script again doesn't work anymore either... Too bad... :-/
 

Eight Bit

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A quick update, I run Manjaro Arm 64 bit on my Pinebook now and just about all the quirks there were have been solved. It's running very responsive, the trackpad works better and overall it is a lot more stable. A lot of kernel work has been done, this quote comes from the Pine64 forum:

Pinebook Pro is near feature completeness in the latest kernels - this is getting close to "plug-and-play" territory for all distros. It's getting really close to the point where no special distro images will be needed

So, a couple months in; I'm happier and happier with the PBP :D
 
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