Why two power ports on a budget laptop??
#1
Question 
First of all, I really like the PB Pro and I love what you're doing for the open source community.

However, I can't help but wonder why you included two charging ports on the Pinebook pro. The USB-C port is in the middle of the connector lineup, meaning that powering it over USB-C is going to nearly prevent you from using that USB port right behind it. And, in the regular power spot there isn't USB-C, but an ugly barrel jack. Even worse, both ports are nearly right next to each other... 

It doesn't make a lot of sense. Why waste money to increase the number of power ports, and put them right next to each other, when you could save money and make a better-looking product just by leaving it out? 

If you want to be capitalists, just charge $5 extra to take out the barrel jack, and I would gladly pay.
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#2
If it didn't come with a barrel jack, I'd probably go through the trouble of installing one. It seems to me that people hate them for two reasons:

1) they are old technology and therefore "ugly" and "dirty"

2) there are too many standards for different sizes

I find them to be much, much more reliable and less fragile than the USB plug alternatives. Plus, you can plug them in by feel, one handed. The only drawback is that they don't normal handle data along with power. I often wonder why USB didn't use a 4-pole barrel jack.

In ye olden dayes, we didn't have trouble with the different sizes. Universal adaptors all had at least 4 different sizes built in. But that's too old-fashioned apparently. Maybe someone decided they are "unsafe" or something, I suppose.
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#3
The barrel jack is just power ...

The USB-c port is a data port that can be used for an alternate power source.
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#4
(08-03-2020, 02:44 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: If it didn't come with a barrel jack, I'd probably go through the trouble of installing one.  It seems to me that people hate them for two reasons:

1) they are old technology and therefore "ugly" and "dirty"

2) there are too many standards for different sizes

I find them to be much, much more reliable and less fragile than the USB plug alternatives.  Plus, you can plug them in by feel, one handed.  The only drawback is that they don't normal handle data along with power.  I often wonder why USB didn't use a 4-pole barrel jack.

In ye olden dayes, we didn't have trouble with the different sizes.  Universal adaptors all had at least 4 different sizes built in. But that's too old-fashioned apparently.  Maybe someone decided they are "unsafe" or something, I suppose.

I have happily used USB-C chargers since the HP Spectre X2 (2016).
Once I bought the LG G5, I decided to go all in with USB-C.
I still have devices with other ports, like cameras and wireless headphones, but once I need new ones, I will only choose ones with USB-C.

I can easily plug in USB-C one handed, so I don't understand your complaint there.
There is a problem that because of security, some devices no longer work properly with all chargers.
One example is my Yi 360 camera, that I can only charge with a cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable, as I can no longer charge directly from a USB-C charger.
Funny detail is that my phone refuses to charge with that cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable.

But in general I'm really happy with USB-C.
Now I only need one charger for my laptop and phone.
And even when I forget to bring a charger, there is someone around with a USB-C charger.
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#5
In the dark? Right way up? Guaranteed not to break it?
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#6
(08-03-2020, 04:28 AM)jiyong Wrote: There is a problem that because of security, some devices no longer work properly with all chargers.
One example is my Yi 360 camera, that I can only charge with a cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable, as I can no longer charge directly from a USB-C charger.
Funny detail is that my phone refuses to charge with that cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable.

But in general I'm really happy with USB-C.
Now I only need one charger for my laptop and phone.
And even when I forget to bring a charger, there is someone around with a USB-C charger.

And that's the crux of the issue with power delivery over USB type C - the variety of power delivery specifications and chance that even if that charger has type C connector it's not quite compatible with your device because of the limits on the voltage and current it can deliver. And then there are some devices for which USB power delivery is a complete no-go due to their power requirements, like gaming or mobile workstation laptops that need more than 100W of power. With a dedicated power supply that just provides fixed voltage and up to fixed current none of those are an issue, though yes you'd have to carry one with you instead of relying on someone else having one handy for you to borrow.

Of course, neither of the above should be of much relevancy in PBP context, though even there I found out that I have two different USB cables where one charges the laptop almost as fast as the dedicated charger (not quite though), and another provides barely enough current to charge the laptop when it's idle.

You don't want to use the barrel port - don't use it, you don't want to pay for barrel port - look for a laptop without one. I, for one, like my barrel port because it allows me to use the single type C port without resorting to docks and dongles, so equivalent replacement for no barrel port would be two type C ports, which I'm certain would be more expensive than one type C and one charging port. And most importantly, I always know that if the power supply is rated for 5Vx3A with correctly sized connector and polarity then I don't need to still worry about the USB cable I use to connect it to the laptop, it'll always charge at ~15W.
This message was created with 100% recycled electrons
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#7
(08-03-2020, 05:22 AM)KC9UDX Wrote: In the dark?  Right way up?  Guaranteed not to break it?

Yes, every time.
So far I have never experienced that the PBP has a wrong way to connect USB-C.
I have also never experienced that with any of my devices.

(08-03-2020, 08:03 AM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(08-03-2020, 04:28 AM)jiyong Wrote: There is a problem that because of security, some devices no longer work properly with all chargers.
One example is my Yi 360 camera, that I can only charge with a cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable, as I can no longer charge directly from a USB-C charger.
Funny detail is that my phone refuses to charge with that cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter cable.

But in general I'm really happy with USB-C.
Now I only need one charger for my laptop and phone.
And even when I forget to bring a charger, there is someone around with a USB-C charger.

And that's the crux of the issue with power delivery over USB type C - the variety of power delivery specifications and chance that even if that charger has type C connector it's not quite compatible with your device because of the limits on the voltage and current it can deliver. And then there are some devices for which USB power delivery is a complete no-go due to their power requirements, like gaming or mobile workstation laptops that need more than 100W of power. With a dedicated power supply that just provides fixed voltage and up to fixed current none of those are an issue, though yes you'd have to carry one with you instead of relying on someone else having one handy for you to borrow.

Of course, neither of the above should be of much relevancy in PBP context, though even there I found out that I have two different USB cables where one charges the laptop almost as fast as the dedicated charger (not quite though), and another provides barely enough current to charge the laptop when it's idle.

You don't want to use the barrel port - don't use it, you don't want to pay for barrel port - look for a laptop without one. I, for one, like my barrel port because it allows me to use the single type C port without resorting to docks and dongles, so equivalent replacement for no barrel port would be two type C ports, which I'm certain would be more expensive than one type C and one charging port. And most importantly, I always know that if the power supply is rated for 5Vx3A with correctly sized connector and polarity then I don't need to still worry about the USB cable I use to connect it to the laptop, it'll always charge at ~15W.

What's the point of dismissing USB-C based on exceptions?
If it really was such a big mess, the whole world would complain about it.

The problem isn't the different voltages and current, it's about negotiating the correct voltage and current.
Remember Benson Leung? https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/...on-amazon/
It's about implementing things properly, according to the standards.

Now that USB-C has matured, it is much simpler than a barrel port.
Try charging with a random barrel port charger, good luck with that.
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#8
Hmm. That's a new definition of simpler Smile

All's I knows is that in five decades I can think of exactly two barrel jacks that have failed due to severe mechanical stresses. I can think of barrel plug power supplies that failed because the cord got chewed by an animal, or the transformer played fuse because there wasn't one (this was pre made-in-China, so no fires). But I have to replace a device every few years due to USB socket failure, and a power supply every few months due to USB plug failure. Mind you I only have one USB-C jack and only two USB-C plugs, and I haven't even used them yet. I think USB-C might be improved over all the other variants I have to use. But history screams otherwise, and I fully expect that by the time I've had to give in and start really using USB-C, USB-E will be the new thing.

Yes, you can plug in a USB-C the wrong way. I learnt this by reading the technical specifications.
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#9
It is mostly evolution, they are going to change styles every few years no matter what.

Even if your device socket never fails, it will be superseded and you will be forced to ""UPGRADE""

The old barrel connector is/was one of the most durable connectors ever made.
Not only is it impossible to plug in wrong, it can swivel and turn with no damage
I especially like the 90 degree connector as it does not stick out as much.
Not to mention the barrel connector can easily handle much more current !

BUT if you cannot find a replacement charger for your device, you wind-up "Buying" new devices !
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#10
I appreciate that I can use a faster charging barrel jack at home and a USB-C charger any where else I go (work for example).  I have used the USB-C and A ports concurrently without a space issue.  Pure USB charging makes me nervous as I have worn out USB connectors and cables many a time with phones.  I know USB-C is supposed to be better at avoiding the worn connector issue...but...we will see.
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