People have been trying to launch Linux tablets for years from PenPod 700 to Jolla Tablet, or more recently NTablet. You may not know or remember about those, as Linux tablets that actually shipped never really gained traction.
But in early 2019, Pine64 started to mention development work on PineTab, an Allwinner A64 powered BSD/Linux tablet, and the company/community is really good at developing low-cost hardware and providing decent firmware support, so hopes were high. After COVID-19 related delay, Pine64 has now announced the first PineTab tablets would go for pre-order at the end of the month for $99.
- SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali-400 MP2 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot, M.2 slot for SATA SSD
- Display – 10″ MiPi 720p Capacitive LCD
- Video output – Mini HDMI up to 4K @ 30 Hz
- Audio – Speakers and Microphone
- Cameras – 5MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera/webcam
- Connectivity – WiFi, optional 4G LTE M.2 card (multiplexed with SSD)
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 A host port, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
- Expansion – M.2 slot for multiple expansion boards for LTE, LoRa and SATA SSD
- Misc – Volume rocker and Home button, optional magnetically attached keyboard
- Battery – 6,000mAh battery
- Charging & Power Supply – 5V/3A power barrel jack
- Dimensions – 260 x 175 x 11 mm
- Weight – 600+ grams
The PineTab itself will go for $99.99, and the optional detachable keyboard for $19.99. Just the PinePhone Braveheart Edition, PineTab Linux tablets offered at the end of May will be for early adopters who may not mind some small defects like a missing pixel on the display.
The tablet will support various Linux distributions, including PostmarketOS, Arch Linux Arm, and UBPorts Ubuntu Touch. A demo of the latter has been uploaded on YouTube to show how it well works so far, and it’s pretty good considering the relatively low-end hardware.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.