PineTab modular Linux tablet goes on sale for $100
PineTab is a 10.1-inch tablet with a 1280 x 800-pixel display, a Quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal memory. While these characteristics aren't exactly impressive in 2020, PineTab stands out in two ways compared to most other tablets on the market today:
- It comes preloaded with Ubuntu Touch and supports other GNU / Linux distributions.
- It costs only $ 100.
First announced more than a year ago, PineTab is already available for pre-order at the Pine64 Store, and the company says the tablet should start shipping to customers at the end of July.
Like other Pine64 products (including single-board computers, laptops, smartphones, and smartwatches), PineTab is designed as a low-cost ARM-based device with free, open-source software.
In this case, we are talking about a tablet for $100, which you can also use as a laptop thanks to a removable backlit keyboard (which is available as an additional accessory for $20).
Since Pine64 positions PineTab as a tablet that you can also use as a laptop, the company ships it with an operating system that supports multi-mode use. The tablet will come with a beta version of the Ubuntu Touch UBPorts operating system, which allows you to switch between a mobile/touch environment and a more traditional laptop / desktop-style environment with a keyboard connected.
But nothing prevents you from replacing Ubuntu Touch with another operating system if you find one that suits your needs.
You can download an alternative Linux distribution from a microSD card. Pine64 reports that initially there is support for postmarket OS and Arch Linux, as well as Ubuntu Touch.
Here is a list of tablet features:
- Display 10 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels, IPS LCD
- Allwinnner A64 processor, 1.2 GHz, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53
- GPU Mali-400 MP2
- RAM 2 GB
- Built-in memory 64 GB eMMC + microSD (boot) + optional M.2 SSD adapter USB 2.0 Type-A, Micro USB 2.0 OTG, Digital Video Out
- 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera
- Stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headset jack
- Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n and Bluetooth 4.0
- 6000 mAh battery (removable) 10 W charge (5 V / 2 A)
- Dimensions 258 mm x 170 mm x 11.2 mm
- Weight 575 grams
The tablet has a black plastic case, and if you add a removable keyboard, you will have a device with a thickness of 21.1 mm and a weight of 950 grams.
In the future, Pine64 also plans to offer additional modules that will allow you to add a SATA M. 2 SSD, an LTE and GPS M. 2 card, a LoRA module, or an RTL-SDR module. You can only use one module at a time, and they will not be available at startup.
However, PineTab has developed one of the most affordable versions of Linux tablets, and the promise of extension modules can also make it one of the most versatile mobile devices.