PineTab2 Linux Tablet Comes in April Starting at $159

The Linux-based PineTab2 will be available in two hardware configurations: 4GB RAM / 64GB eMMC flash and 8GB RAM / 128GB eMMC flash storage.

Linux tablets are a relatively new addition to the tablet market, offering a unique alternative to the dominant Android and iOS platforms. In addition, with their open-source nature, Linux tablets provide users with greater customization and control over their devices and access to a vast array of open-source software applications.

While they may not have the same mainstream popularity as their competitors, Linux tablets have gained a loyal following among tech enthusiasts and developers. One of the companies positioning itself in this niche is PINE64, which creates open-source hardware and software products.

With its first Linux-based PineTab tablet launch in 2020, the company has begun work on its successor, the PineTab2, about which PINE64 revealed more details last December. Finally, however, we have almost everything about it, including pricing and its planned release period, so without further ado, let’s see what it is all about.

What to Expect from PineTab2?

PineTab2 Linux Tablet
PineTab2 Linux Tablet

We’ll begin with the big news: price. The PineTab2 will be available in two hardware configurations: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM with 64GB eMMC flash storage and 8GB LPDDR4 RAM with 128GB eMMC flash storage. The 4GB/64GB model will cost $159, while the 8GB/128GB model will cost $209. Except for the RAM and storage capacity, both variants are similar and, by default, include a detachable keyboard.

At first glance, the price is higher than the previous version, which was offered for $99, but that has its explanation. Firstly, you get a detachable keyboard here, whereas, with the original variant, you had to pay an extra $20 to get one. Also, the hardware is significantly improved. The table below provides a quick comparison of the two models.

ChipsetRockchip RK3566Allwinner A64
CPUQuad-core Arm Cortex-A55 up to 1.8 GHzQuad-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A-53
Memory4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 64GB storage
8GB LPDDR4 RAM / 128GB storage
2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM / 64GB storage
Camera5MP rear camera
2MP front-facing camera
5MP rear camera
2MP front-facing camera
CommunicationWiFi and BluetoothWiFi 802.11 b/g/n, single-band, hotspot
Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
Battery6,000mAh battery (in prototypes)Li-Po 6000 mAh battery
Display10.1-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen10.1 inches IPS capacitive touchscreen
Ports1x USB-C 3.0 Type-C port
1x USB-C 2.0 Type-C port
1x micro HDMI port
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio jack
1x USB 2.0 Type A port
1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
1x micro HDMI port 
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio jack

Because of its modular construction, the PineTab2 Linux tablet is also user serviceable. This means it is easy to open, and within just a few minutes, you can replace various modules, such as a camera, battery, and USB keyboard connector. In addition, the detached keyboard backlight has two brightness settings.

One of the most exciting parts of this Linux tablet is the software. The PineTab2 will likely rely on the custom Arch Linux build for ARM devices, with the GUI being a KDE Plasma desktop – demonstrated last month at FOSDEM, but with the caveat that it was a prototype device.

Of course, being open-source, the tablet is designed to allow users to flash their preferred operating systems. Some things, however, are still not fully functional, like the USB 3.0 port, cameras, or Bluetooth functionality.

According to preliminary information, the 4GB RAM/64GB storage and 8GB RAM/128GB storage PineTab2 models are expected to be available for order at the Pine Store sometime in April. However, the company reserves the right to shift this timeframe if something goes wrong at the last minute.

For details, you can refer to PINE64’s February announcement.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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