About two and a half years ago was presented la pinetab. It sounded great: all open source, very cheap, Lomiri's demo was great, and the projects pulled images for the PINE64 tablet, so one way or another, it could be used. Now, already in October 2022, I don't know if there is anyone who is happy with one of them, at least if they are not a developer, speak Spanish and did not want to buy the official keyboard (in English).
In October 2021, things seemed to be very different. Arch Linux had released its version with Plasma, Manjaro released weekly images and already then the re-based Focal Fossa was waiting… and it is not that we are the same; right now we are worse. The Arch Linux image doesn't work too well; the last thing I know about Manjaro is that it released compatible images only if certain changes were made, and they didn't have a PineTab to check that things worked (nope); JingOS is missing, and that they even had a tablet ready, and Ubuntu Touch… at least on the PineTab it is a big disappointment.
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Ubuntu Touch does not allow Libertine to be used on the PineTab
ubports It has already communicated that it is working to make the leap to Focal Fossa, but the latest news is that its Ubuntu 20.04-based system works on a few mobile devices. I don't remember them mentioning the PinePhone, but of course they didn't say anything about the PineTab. The current disappointment could only be overcome if it couldn't be pushed to 20.04, and if GUI applications via Libertine never worked. Currently they do not, and you have to use the applications that come by default or some that are little more than webapps.
In Ubuntu Touch, it is that, two years later, they have not even bothered to fix the camera. It is not even useful for browsing, since to do a minimum on the web you need the software to run a bit smoothly and the connection to be stable, and at least the latter is not true. The PineTab only works on the 2.4GHz frequency, and it doesn't do it very well. Therefore, even if you try to watch YouTube videos with the default Morph Browser, all you are going to do is suffer a miserable experience in silence.
And things are not very hopeful. The pandemic has made it necessary to prioritize certain things, and can't even install GloDroid (Android) because its developers don't release images for the PineTab. In the end, the only real options are Ubuntu Touch, if one has patience and morals, or postmarketOS, a system that recently left me hanging and I decided to go back to Ubuntu Touch (from Guatemala to Guatepeor).
All is not lost… is it?
And here I am, who in the past has tried to see the positive side of this issue, with a tablet that I can neither enjoy nor have an easy sale. Hope is the last thing lost, and I can still imagine a future where UBports releases Ubuntu Touch based on 20.04, works on the PineTab and is compatible with Libertine. At the rate we are going, maybe in October 2023 I will write another article, and its content will say that I have gotten rid of this pseudo-tablet or that I have finally managed to take advantage of the slightly more than €100 I paid for it. But the truth is that right now I only think that cheap is expensive. That and see who I endorse this to get him out of the way.