How is youtube and general web browsing on the PineBook Pro?
#1
Hello, I am considering a PineBook Pro as a laptop for basic web browsing and watching videos. I have seen lots of conflicting information about youtube playback, with some saying its unusable and others saying it is pretty decent. What can I expect in that regard? It would not be my primary machine so performance is not that important, but it would need to have good battery life (>6 hours) and be able to play at least 1080p youtube smoothly for me to consider it.
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#2
I use my pinebook pro as a daily driver. I have had no issues with 1080p in mpv, although I usually opt for 720p to save space. I hadn't tested anything higher, or youtube in chromium ( I typically run a fairly tied down firefox with noscript, and open videos in mpv ), but but your query made me curious, so I found an HD video on youtube in chromium, and tried it in 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p. 1080p and 1440p worked fine, with only one or two pauses right at the start, then all went smoothly and looked nice. 2160 was unbearable with all the hiccups and stalls. In mpv at 2160 it was noticible, but bearable.
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#3
(05-29-2022, 05:29 PM)tmschmitz Wrote: I use my pinebook pro as a daily driver. I have had no issues with 1080p in mpv, although I usually opt for 720p to save space. I hadn't tested anything higher, or youtube in chromium ( I typically run a fairly tied down firefox with noscript, and open videos in mpv ), but but your query made me curious, so I found an HD video on youtube in chromium, and tried it in 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p. 1080p and 1440p worked fine, with only one or two pauses right at the start, then all went smoothly and looked nice. 2160 was unbearable with all the hiccups and stalls. In mpv at 2160 it was noticible, but bearable.

Does stats for nerds show any dropped frames? Also what is cpu usage like, basically is it hardware accelerated?
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#4
(05-31-2022, 02:21 PM)catloaf Wrote:
(05-29-2022, 05:29 PM)tmschmitz Wrote: I use my pinebook pro as a daily driver. I have had no issues with 1080p in mpv, although I usually opt for 720p to save space. I hadn't tested anything higher, or youtube in chromium ( I typically run a fairly tied down firefox with noscript, and open videos in mpv ), but but your query made me curious, so I found an HD video on youtube in chromium, and tried it in 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p. 1080p and 1440p worked fine, with only one or two pauses right at the start, then all went smoothly and looked nice. 2160 was unbearable with all the hiccups and stalls. In mpv at 2160 it was noticible, but bearable.

Does stats for nerds show any dropped frames? Also what is cpu usage like, basically is it hardware accelerated?

Youtube's vp9 codec is not hw accelerated and drops a lot a frames, there are extensions that will disable this codec however.

With other codecs you get a few dropped frames, but nothing major (tested on 720p@60 avc1)

Like the person above also mentioned, you can also use mpv and ytdl to stream videos with no dropped frames and generally better load times.


general web browsing is a breeze for me but I do not visit particularly intense websites. I have found that things such as webmail and blogs work perfectly fine. Sites with heavy javascript such as news websites or social media platforms are sluggish but using a content blocker already helps with that.
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#5
Sluggish as hell, compared to Ryzen 7 3700U, however usable and actually enjoyable to some extent. While you browse web a little bit slower than usually, you are able to charge your laptop with out of ordinary 5V powerbank. I like to work from my balcony, unfortunately my daily drive Lenovo e595 requires USB-C with power delivery to be charged and is extremally power hungry. For these situations i am using PBP.

Highly javascript-bloated webpages will run unusably (this is true for microshit products like teams, outlook), facebook and reddit are also somewhat annoying. Other than that with little patience and some trickery with noscript and ublock you'll be fine i guess.

Online videos are also sluggish. While 1080p keeps framerate, computer is barely usable (decompression goes through CPU, co even launching file manager is prolonged). Guess you might say goodbye to habit of listening to youtube music while doing something productive.

To summarize: forget daily driver bleeding edge experience. This isn't a product ready for your senior parents or a kid and perhaps worst Celeron based 11" crap with soldered in eMMC will give better UX than PBP. If you are able to do some hackery there and sorcery here you'll be more than happy with overall usability of this little powerhouse. For example this post was found and responded to entirely in firefox running on PBP.
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