Warning to anyone considering a Pinebook
#1
So I bought a Pinebook Pro and it stopped charging within 3 days. I look on that forum and see this is a common problem, and that you have to open up the laptop, disconnect the battery, plug it in, then plug in the battery to "shock the system" into working again. I also read that it often takes many many times for this to work.  I did this. I did it many dozens of times, multiple days over the course of two weeks. It never worked.

Then I realize the cord itself might be crap, so I switched it to direct power mode and tried plugging it in. Nothing happened, the cord itself failed.  I submitted a complaint to Pine and explained this.

Here's what happened: 

A day and a half after I submit the problem, Pine replied and tells me to check it with a multimeter or the USB-C cord they didn't send with the computer. I tell them I'm unable to do either of those things, this is the only charger they sent. 

Three days later they day they don't understand what my problem is, because my ticket only says "power cord failed". Did they delete the detailed description I typed in? I retype the entire description. 

Three days later, they respond asking me to try opening it up and putting it into direct power mode (i.e., the thing I already did a week before). I am to inform him whether or not the light blinks.  I tell him I already did this a week ago and already told them twice.

Two days later I get a response simply asking of the light blinks or not.  I reply *again* that the light does not blink, as I've stated three times now.  In this time I got a multimeter and checked the power cord. It had failed, no electricity came through it. I sent another email telling Pine this, too.

Two days later Pine tells me I needed to borrow somebody's USB-C cord to try that.  I don't have one to borrow so I had to go buy one and, wouldn't you know it, it charges the laptop because *the power cord was what failed* 

So for those unable to keep track of how long that all took, it failed within 3 days, I spent several weeks trying this "just keep zapping your battery" thing, then got jerked around by Pine on email between July 27th and August 12.  Today Pine told me tough luck because I'm now two weeks out of warranty. 

This is a warning to anybody considering Pine products - you will receive no useful help from anyone at the company, any products you buy will take months to arrive, and it's cheap Chinese product sold as-is.  Just consider it like you bought a used laptop of eBay.
#2
So the pinebook is fine? The problem was the charger? It wouldn't charge and you never tried the OTHER charging method? Now your mad at who?
#3
(08-12-2020, 09:43 AM)MtnSk8 Wrote: So the pinebook is fine? The problem was the charger? It wouldn't charge and you never tried the OTHER charging method? Now your mad at who?
The laptop was fine until it ran out of power. The required accessory died within 3 days of arrival, leaving no way to use the laptop. Not sure what "other charging method" you mean: do you mean plugging it directly into the laptop after switching away from battery? I did try that, it didn't do anything.

Do you mean using the USB-C cord that Pine didn't provide? How would I try using a cord that want provided? I bought one and it did work (when held at the right angle in the sloppy USB-C port).

Did that answer your question?
#4
You bought a $200 computer and you're upset that it didn't come with a $10 cable, and that it came with a $1 charger?

As I gathered from another thread here, I just must be unique in that I still own many once-common universal wall warts. I should get some more before other people see the value in them, I suppose
#5
You're missing the point here. The point here is that the whole power issue with the charger and battery is a pretty big problem with this device and no one seems to be coming forward with acknowledging that it is a serious issue for many people and that there seems to be some sort of fix or upgrade coming down the pike. For some it is cables, others it is battery draining and shutting down and losing hours of work compiling because the unit craps out while being plugged in. The only thing that comes forward is other community members like yourself who just come back with the tired line of "What did you expect for $200?"

You can throw around all your excuses that it's a $200 laptop all you like and feel justified that somehow you were better equipped to be mentally prepared for any caveats that exist and chastise those that bring a legitimate criticism to the forefront but the issue is still there and could use fixing.

I love my pinebook pro and have also dealt with these power issues. It is my daily driver but guess what... The unit still remains gimped.
#6
It seems to me that being able to deal with these kinds of issues is a prerequisite for owning things like this. I'm glad I didn't have to pay an extra $100 so it wouldn't have a problem that I can deal with anyway.
#7
The dialogue with support should have quickly identified and acknowledged the issue with the barrel-jack charger and sent the customer a replacement charger. Getting nowhere for two months and then support ducking out with an "out of warranty" weasel move? That is not impressive. Is it on purpose?

The support side of Pine64 obviously needs an overhaul - from the web site (tie orders and support together with an account) through to reviewing what support actually has been doing and recognising the improvements needed in the area. Community covers so much but arrows still end up to support and support is hit and miss.
#8
(08-12-2020, 01:21 PM)MtnSk8 Wrote: This is your only post on this forum. I looked to see if you posted earlier to resolve your issue. You did not. This hardware (and the the software it runs) is Community supported.  This is the community Smile .

I'm not surprised at the anger from a person who's handle is a reference to animal cruelty but here is the good news: You've created a forum account and now hundreds of great and knowledgeable people are able to help.

Reading the community and taking its advice is what delayed me from being able to get a defective part replaced. This post is to serve as a warning - don't bother with the community, it'll prevent you from getting your issue resolved in time and will cost you money and waste your efforts. Just report any issues immediately to the help desk.

Animal cruelty is right - I feel like a kicked dog after this.
#9
(08-12-2020, 01:41 PM)Upokupo Wrote: You're missing the point here. The point here is that the whole power issue with the charger and battery is a pretty big problem with this device and no one seems to be coming forward with acknowledging that it is a serious issue for many people and that there seems to be some sort of fix or upgrade coming down the pike. For some it is cables, others it is battery draining and shutting down and losing hours of work compiling because the unit craps out while being plugged in. The only thing that comes forward is other community members like yourself who just come back with the tired line of "What did you expect for $200?"

You can throw around all your excuses that it's a $200 laptop all you like and feel justified that somehow you were better equipped to be mentally prepared for any caveats that exist and chastise those that bring a legitimate criticism to the forefront but the issue is still there and could use fixing.

I love my pinebook pro and have also dealt with these power issues. It is my daily driver but guess what... The unit still remains gimped.

My problem isn't even that a cheap part broke, it's that it broke almost immediately and that single part rendered the laptop unusable, and they wouldn't even fix it after delaying me for nearly two weeks.

I expected this thread to be poorly received here, though, so the posts laughing at the issue aren't surprising.
#10
(08-13-2020, 05:39 PM)lot378 Wrote: The dialogue with support should have quickly identified and acknowledged the issue with the barrel-jack charger and sent the customer a replacement charger. Getting nowhere for two months and then support ducking out with an "out of warranty" weasel move? That is not impressive. Is it on purpose?

The support side of Pine64 obviously needs an overhaul - from the web site (tie orders and support together with an account) through to reviewing what support actually has been doing and recognising the improvements needed in the area. Community covers so much but arrows still end up to support and support is hit and miss.

Exactly. I had already correctly identified the problem. Waiting three days each time for a response that simply asked a question I'd already answered... It was worse than worthless.


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