Pinebook: Is Buying a Linux Laptop a Good Idea?


Pine64, the pioneers of single board computers began its operations in 2015 and outgrew as a family of systems specialized in Raspberry Pie soon in the coming years. There first ever all Linux Laptop, Pinebook was launched in November 2016 and later opened for shipments in April 2017. Programmers from all over the world have very well welcomed this initiative.

Pinebook Review

Their first single board computer costed just $15 and had comparatively poor reviews. However, this time, Pine64 had fairly done better in managing user expectations. The laptop is a little pricey though but bundled up with exclusive features.


The only frustrating thing about this is the long shipment delay. You cannot just go and buy yourself a Pinebook; instead, you need to place a Build to Order. There is a BTO queue on the Pine64 website where you have to pick your preferences, 14-inch model or 11.6 inches. When your turn arrives after several months, you receive an email for confirmation and whether you need any hands on accessories. Next, they ask for your details and payment through PayPal, which later leads to shipment within a few weeks. There is some added cost of import and accessories depends on where you live aside from the original laptop price.

Pinebook Price

For now, there are two models with different prices. 11.6-inches for $89 and 14-inches for $99. The same processor powers both; it is just the difference in sizes. Besides, if you opt for some accessories like adapters or cable, your bill tops an extra $20.

Pinebook Specs

Pinebook comprises of a 1.2GHz 64-Bit Quad-Core processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB Flash Memory. It has two USB, 1 Mini HDMI, 1 Micro SD Card slot and a headphone jack. Besides, there is a full size keyboard and large multi-touch touchpad.  It weighs 1.26 kg and dimensionally is 329mm x 220mm x 12mm.

Pinebook Display is a 14” sharp TN LCD (1366 x 768) for both its models which is usually less than the laptops today. In addition, a 0.3 Megapixel camera have come off as a surprise to its users.

Pinebook Features

One of the main feature is that it runs on Ubuntu. A major drawback, Ubuntu is not very familiar to everyone except programmers and not very user friendly. Besides, you cannot have Windows on it at all.

The laptop is good from a programmer or developer’s point of view. Small not very expensive and Ubuntu support. Its lightweight and thin that makes it ideal for impromptu sysadmin needs. The product is created with cheap parts but produces an excellent result. A strong market competitor that is just under $100.

However, there are a few cons that really need to be addressed, Pinebook does not have an HD display so it gets a little uncomfortable when playing videos on YouTube. In addition, the desktop lacks responsiveness and the browser gets a bit sluggish when you open a large number of tabs.


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