Pine64, the developers of Linux-based single-board computers, has announced the upcoming availability of the Pinebook Pro, an inexpensive laptop with upgradable components meant as an alternative to Chromebooks. The laptop had been out of stock for a year due to supply chain problems that have gripped the technology industry.
Pinebook Pro Back on Sale After Delays
Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski made the announcement of the Pinebook Pro’s going back on sale in an official blog post, while the company also issued a YouTube video summarizing the announcement:
The announcement had itself been meant to go out earlier in May, but Erecinksi had become ill. After a year of unavailability, the laptop will be available in June 2022 for $219 from Pine64’s official store. The laptop had been previously enthusiastically reviewed by MUO as a “FOSS laptop that doesn’t suck.”
“It has been a year since we were able to ship the Pinebook Pro, and ever since the last batch sold out we have been continually asked to bring it back,” Erecinski said.
The main reason for the delay in the availability of the machine has been sourcing IPS panels for the Pinebook Pro’s 14-inch screen.
The ARM-based laptop is powered by four Cortex A53 cores running at 1.4 Ghz plus an additional two Cortex A72 cores at 1.8 GHz. It also comes with 4 GB of RAM and the ability to add an M.2 NVMe SSD to the onboard 64 GB of eMMC storage.
Will the Pinebook Pro Compete With the Chromebook?
Despite the renewed availability of the Pinebook Pro, it remains to be seen how well it will compete against the Chromebook, another established standard for inexpensive Linux-based laptops.
The two machines appeal with widely different audiences. The Pinebook Pro seems to appeal to those who want a more purist and hackable Linux environment over the Chromebook’s simplicity.
Chromebooks, being made by major manufacturers like Lenovo, Dell, and ASUS, are more widely available and seem less disrupted by supply chain problems the way smaller companies like Pine64 are.
The need to install a Linux distribution in contrast to Chromebooks that come with Chrome OS out of the box may be another hurdle to casual users.
Pinebook Pro: A Hacker’s Dream Machine
Like Pine64’s other offerings, the Pinebook Pro should prove to be another Linux hacker’s toy. One of the company’s other offerings, the PinePhone Pro, offers a hackable Linux-based alternative to Google’s Android the way the Pinebook Pro does to the Chromebook.