It has been more than two years since the early adopters we got hold of a tablet from PINE64 in the hope of having a somewhat usable tablet that would work with Linux. At this time, that project/version is almost dead, and more than will be after the company has announced that it will soon release the PineTab2. She has done it in a monthly newsletter that we don't always cover, partly because they rarely publish something as relevant as this new tablet.
As a PineTab 1 owner, Early Adopter or whatever they're going to call it from now on, I can't say I'm delighted with this news. I'm not because the PineTab2 looks like a real tablet, which should have been the first and was not. I am not because this news implies that my tablet is going to stop receiving love. PINE64 explains the first version by summarizing that it was the fault of the pandemic (and the chachacha, by the way…), but now they are focused on this new version that even changes the manufacturing materials.
Table of Contents
What is the PineTab2 like (and comparison with the first)
- Easy to remove metal casing for easy repairs. The 2020 one is plastic.
- SoC RK3566, which ensures that it is a great option for a tablet due to its low consumption and low temperature. The 2020 uses an Allwinner A64.
- Two USB-C ports, one with USB 3.0 speed and the other with 2.0 speed, which also charges. In addition, it has a micro HDMI output, MicroSD card and a headphone jack. All this is very similar to the 2020 version, but this one does not have USB-C ports.
- 5MPx and 2MPx cameras, which without further information seem to have not changed.
- There will be two versions: one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB. The 2020 one had only 64GB, and 2GB of RAM.
- Price: unknown.
- Soon there will be some for developers.
PINE64 warns again that everything is in a very early stage... and this movie I've already seen.
I get wet: do I recommend it?
Logically, not much is known about this tablet yet because it's the first time we've been told about it and no one has made any demonstration, but I would simply say that you have to hold back. It looks good? Yes, but if we've learned anything from the PineTab Early Adopter, it's that software is almost more important than hardware.
If you use Manjaro, Which is what they chose for the PinePhone, the times that I have tried it have left a very good taste in my mouth, but it has also become clear that there is nothing that we can label as "stable". Therefore, it is best to wait for a possible day/release when both software and hardware can be used for real.
On the other hand, they have not mentioned or I have not seen nothing about the wifi, and it cannot be ruled out that the PineTab2 is only compatible with the 2.4GHz frequency. In the 2020 version, the WiFi is very slow, a pain I would say, and it would be a big disappointment if it finally does not support the 5GHz frequency, or at least they improve what is in the PineTab Early Adopter a lot.
Who is the PineTab2 for?
This is not said by PINE64, but I do say it. The PineTab2 will not be a tablet for the general public, those who want to use something to navigate, communicate with their acquaintances and play the most popular mobile titles. Like almost everything this company makes, the most unique point of the PineTab2 will be that it is hackableIn other words, all kinds of community operating systems can be installed and we can make some changes ourselves, but it won't be something that competes with Android tablets or the iPad.
Although the truth is that PINE64 does not have that objective. As for tablets, it seems that what he is looking for is to launch the equivalent of a Linux laptop, but on a tablet, something he will achieve if they don't give up. And if we are not developers, (a lot) patience.