Pinebook Pro Review
So I’m a pretty big fan of what the Pine64 community is doing with their SoC Linux platforms. Back in May I received a Pinebook Pro with the intent to use it to replace an old t440 Thinkpad I had been using as my casual mobile device. I think in the last 4 months of using the PBP daily I’ve developed a few opinions about it that maybe others will find helpful.
- It’s a good size, lightweight with an excellent display and keyboard. You can do better, but just at nowhere near the $199 price point.
- Battery life is excellent, I easily get 11 hours a day on a charge. This of course varies based on what your doing, compiling applications will chew up the batteries pretty quick.
- The default OS, Manjaro, exceeded all my expectations. I need an OS to be very configurable and just get out of the way most of the time, Manjaro does this well.
- Memory is constrained. It’s very easy to run out of memory and have everything slow down dramatically.
- The trackpad is very poor and takes a lot of getting used to.
- There are software limitations beyond just the ARM architecture. While there is enough working software to get a basic dev setup working, at least for me, some of the pieces are sub-par.
Overall I love it, the downsides aren’t all that bad and it fits my key requirement. What is that requirement you may be thinking? It needs to not be a major financial loss when my kids destroy it (by accident of course).
That’s about it. It works, performance is acceptable for research, writing and some lightweight development.