The yearn A64 was a 64-bit Quad-Core single Board computer which was kickstarted at the tail end of 2015 for shipment in the middle of 2016. Costing just $15, as well as hailed as a “Raspberry Pi killer,” the board increased $1.7 million from 36,000 backers. It shipped to its backers to practically widely bad reviews.

Now they’re back, this time around with a laptop—a 11.6-inch design for $89, or a 14-inch design for $99. Both are powered by the exact same 64-bit Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 as the original yearn A64 board, but at least yearn are doing a much much better task this time around around of managing individual expectations.

The 11.6-inch Pinebook.
However, you can’t just purchase one off the shelf. The new Pinebooks are develop to purchase (BTO) as well as the procedure is somewhat long-winded. The very first thing you requirement to do is put yourself into the BTO queue on the yearn 64 website. pick the design you want—11.6 or 14-inch—and then go into your email address. I chose the 11.6-inch model.

When you reach the top of the queue—my comprehending is that it’s rather long, a number of months, at this point—you’ll get an email from yearn asking you to verify your order, as well as providing to upsell you on some Příslušenství; a USB Ethernet adaptor, some USB to Type-H barrel power cable televisions of different length, as well as a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor.

You then add up the expense of the Pinebook, any type of accessories you want, as well as shipping—which seems to normally be between $20 to $40 depending upon where you are in the world—and mail yearn back with your address, phone number, as well as PayPal ID. At this point you’ll get request for repayment to you PayPal account. Pay the bill, as well as your Pinebook will ship in the next BTO batch.

I don’t precisely keep in mind when I added myself to the BTO queue, however it was definitely no later than the begin of Q4 last year, potentially even before that. I got my preliminary BTO email from yearn on the 12th of April, replied on the 18th. The Pinebook shipped from Hong Kong on the 24th, as well as I got it right here in the united kingdom on the 27th—after paying an extra £35 in import responsibilities to the courier—inside its plastic protective case.

As of the time of composing the next BTO batch is arranged for the 5th of May, shipping from Shenzhen rather than Hong Kong. Your experience may vary commonly from mine.

The Hardware

The apparent product to compare the Pinebook to would seem to be the Pi-Top, however there truly isn’t a comparison. funded on Indiegogo back in 2014, the Pi-Top is a Raspberry Pi powered laptop. It has a 10 hour battery life, a 13.3-inch screen, as well as comes as a set you put together yourself. The Pinebook looks as well as feels like a ‘real’ laptop, the Pi-Top truly doesn’t. The Pi-Top likewise expense $299, much more than three times the cost of the Pinebook.

The Pinebook keyboard.
One of my primary complaints about the Pi-Top was its keyboard — I haven’t had to hammer at a keyboard that difficult because I stopped utilizing a mechanical typewriter. The Pinebook’s keyboard is better, much better, although I’m not rather sure what essential mapping they’re using—it appears to be a cross between a us as well as a UK layout—the physical keyboard is comfortable as well as solid to použití.

Instead my primary grievance right here is the trackpad, it’s quite poor, although I do have to admit its performance is similar with a number of of the low-end Chromebooks I’ve had the misfortune use. It’s likewise much better than the Pi-Top’s trackpad, so perhaps I was expecting as well much from it.

The hole for the microphone is visible above the keyboard, while the two downward firing speakers are spaced one on each side of the keyboard. The speakers are much more than a bit tinny, with some distortion at high volumes.

Left side of the Pinebook with barrel power connector, USB as well as mini-HDMI ports.
The Pinebook is powered utilizing a five-volt barrel connector, it includes a five-volt, three-amp wall wart as well as you can pick up a USB to barrel connector cable television as an accessory when you order—or splice one together yourself from parts. After charging the laptop ought to run for around six hours on battery, nevertheless best now there are some issues because of software application which implies that you may get shorter battery life than expected.

The barrel connector is on the left-hand side of the Pinebook, together with it is a USB port, as well as a mini-HDMI connector. best now, once again because of software application problems, video output through the mini-HDMI connector is understood not to work, with yearn predicting that this will be resolved around the middle of May.

On the other, right-hand, side of the Pinebook is one more USB port, as well as an headphone jack, which at least in theory doubles as a UART port although I haven’t evaluated this yet—although best now audio out from the port is also known not to work. There is likewise a micro SD Card slot, which I have tested, as well as works just fine.

Right side of the Pinebook with micro SD card slot, headphone socket, as well as USB port.
Above the screen is a Silicon movement 640×480 pixel (0.3MP) USB video camera utilizing a BYD Microelectronics BF3703 VGA CMOS picture sensor. It provides a predictably terrible picture quality—the last time I had a 640×480 pixel video camera in my cellphone I believe it was the late 90’s—but it works out of the box as well as is completely supported by the Linux UVC driver.

Frankly, I was amazed that the Pinebook had a video camera whatsoever thinking about the cost point of the laptop. So I’m not complaining.

Apart from the trackpad the screen is most likely the poorest high quality part of the build. The panel is a decently sized 1366×768 pixels, as well as is much more than bright enough. sadly on mine there were visible horizontal lines. In other words, it flickered. Neustále. The colour representation of the panel likewise isn’t that great, however compared to the flickering that’s truly a extremely minor issue.

The Pinebook screen is readable, however not high quality.
The flickering is constant sufficient so that, while the screen is completely readable, long-lasting utilize most likely isn’t going to be a great idea. I’m uncertain whether this is a issue with my unit, or a style or develop issue with the Pinebook in general, as well as I’d be thinking about hearing in the comments from anybody else with their hands on a Pinebook whether this is a much more extensive problem.

Booting from a chilly begin to the login screen takes 27 seconds, after entering your password—the password for the default individual is ‘pine64’—it’ll take one more thirteen seconds for the desktop to completely open. Shutting down from the desktop to chilly takes just over eight seconds.

Update: The screen problems I’m experiencing are obviously because of a software application issue which only impacts the 11.6-inch model–they aren’t present on the 14-inch unit. The issue hasn’t yet been resolved, although the root cause is currently believed to be the ANX6345 driver, or fbturbo settings.

The Software

The Pinebook ships with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 installed. sadly it runs sluggishly and, at least for me, at a speed that feels considerably slower than the PIXEL desktop on Raspbian running on a Raspberry Pi 3. This is unexpected thinking about the speed of the A64 processor. Although the bad high quality of the trackpad is most likely contributing to that feeling of sluggishness, I’ve got a feeling that there are optimisation issues here; it truly shouldn’t feel this slow.

The default Ubuntu MATE desktop.
Running Firefox was particularly painful, which kind of guidelines it out as a ‘casual web browsing laptop’ that you leave lying around on the sofa.

So, just like last time, the primary problems with the Pinebook seem to be around the software. things are vastly improved over the specify of things when yearn released their original board, unlike the original yearn A64 board the Pinebook is really useable. nevertheless yearn have made it extremely remove that, “…it will mostly be as much as the neighborhood to assist even more establish as well as enhance the BSP [Board support Package] Linux experience on the device.”

It’s possible that the present efforts to add support Allwinner support to the Linux mainline kernel will ultimately pay off, nevertheless up until they do you’re dependent on Pine, or much more likely the neighborhood around the yearn A64 board as well as the Pinebook, to enhance hardware support.

This means that documentation around the hardware is quite important. That documentation is however, lacking. It’s scattered, as well as if you’re expecting something that appears like the Raspberry Pi documentation you’re going to be in for a disappointment. The support forums are also sparsely populated. It’s early days, however there isn’t a great deal of neighborhood to pick up the slack best now.

However in addition to the develop of Ubuntu Linux that ships with the Pinebook there is likewise Android port to the yearn A64 in progress, as well as it appears to be in relatively late-stage development. So, if you’re having issues with Linux installation that shipped with the Pinebook, you may want to try the Android develop instead.

Looking inside the Pinebook

Opening up the Pinebook is quite simple, there are ten Philips screws on the underside of the laptop—be cautious though, the ones towards the thin leading edge of the wedge are smaller so don’t get them mixed up—so flip it over, unscrew them, then thoroughly lever the back casing off with a metal spudger.

The inside of the Pinebook situation is mainly battery.
The primary board is promptly visible on the right, together with a child board dealing with the sockets on the other side of the situation na levém dolevě.

Po odstranění spodní části situace jsou čtyři více šroubů Philips, aby se eliminovala baterii, kromě nějaké pásky, kde je baterie připojena k desce. Konektor stačí zvedne ze své zásuvky, takže pásku Užitečnou pásku Užitečnou budete potřebovat k přepravě kabelové televize, když přijdete znovu navrhnout cokoliv dohromady.

Vyjmutí baterie Předměty PCB trackpadu.
Po zvednutí baterie můžete vidět konečnou desku obvodu, která byla skryta pod baterií, to zpracovává trackpad.

Primární deska sama o sobě je skryta vpravo dole pod čtvercem pásky, stejně jako RF štít. Pokud jste důkladně pryč pásku z štítu, by měl jen zvednout, stejně jako je jednoduché dostatečné k zasunutí, když se týká zavření notebooku zpět nahoru.

Procesor Allwinner A64 je viditelný v blízkosti středu desky, zatímco čip přímo pod ní je SINO bohatství SH68F83, nízko-rychlostí USB mikro-regulátor je využíván jako HID klávesnice / můstek TouchPad. Vlevo od procesoru A64 je předem NCLD3B2512M32 s 2 GIB lpddr3 DRAM běží na 533 MHz

Primární touha s hlavním křemíkem označeným.
Modul 16 GB EMMC je viditelný, nahoru, stejně jako nejlépe z CPU. Můžete vyzvednout náhrady pro modul-v rozmezí velikosti od 8 GB na 64 GB-na obr. Modul je vyměnitelný uživatelem. Zřejmě zkontroluje rychlosti až 80 mb / s, stejně jako komponované rychlosti, až 40 mb / s, je vidět s modulem. Pinebookebook je schopen zavést z interiéru EMMC nebo mimo mikro SD kartu.

Tři další menší čipy jsou X-Powers AXP803, které zpracovává podávání baterií, stejně jako nabíjení, genesys logika GL850G, který působí jako regulátor HUB USB 2.0, stejně jako konečně analogie Anx6345 zabývající se RGB pro překlad.

Nahoře můžete zobrazit druhý RF štít, to je o něco mnohem pevnější než primární štít, nicméně může být důkladně předložen vystavit realtek RTL8723CS, SDIO 2.0 SERVICE obsahující Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LR, as stejně jako fm přijímač.

Na rozdíl od tabule roku A64 nebo Raspberry PI Powered Pi-top, nejsou žádné GPIO piny podrobeny primární desce Pinebook.

Mělo byste si být vědomi, že když znovu sestavíte borebooknicí, povrch trackpadu má tendenci se poklonit ven, budete požadavek, abyste se ujistili, že je zatlačeno zpět do umístění, než znovu se vrátí zpět – nebudete moci zatlačit Umístění po připojení zpět – protože jinak nebudou tlačítka trackpadu pracovat na montáži.


Celkově rozvíjející se vysoká kvalita pinebooku je překvapivě v pořádku. Kromě touchpadu, který skutečně není skvělý, stejně jako obrazovka, která může být dobrá otázka s mou jednotkou, cítí se jako “skutečný” notebook.

Aby však bylo skutečně jasné, to není náhrada za váš MacBook. Nemůžete to poskytnout svému mladímu, který míří na vysokou školu – nebo dokonce vysokou instituci – stejně jako očekávat, že budou řídit. Stejně tak není skutečně náhrada za nízko-end Chromebook, desktop je dostatečně pomalá, že bych byl opatrný, abych to doporučil jako cenově dostupný web procházení notebooku pro pohovku.

Na druhou stranu bych měl přiznat, raději to takhle. Je to hodně mnohem lépe dohromady, než $ 89 notebook má jakýkoliv typ nejlepšího, stejně jako navzdory baterii je velký prostor uvnitř pro přidání věcí. Spíše to, co věci nejsem úplně odstranit, v přesně stejnou metodu, prostě nejsem si jistý, co s ním dokončím spíše. Nicméně něco zjistím.