User experience
#1
I have now had my Pinebook Pro for one year.

The Pinebook Pro is an amazing project and I'm pleased to have taken part.

I continue to be amazed at the pace of development of the Manjaro OS.

But an experiment it remains and it is certainly not what it continues to be touted to be on the Pine64 website: it is certainly NOT A SOLID LINUX DAY TO DAY EXPERIENCE.

About six months into my experience, one of the rubber feet sheared off. SAV said I had to buy a new bottom case, which I did.

Taking the original bottom case off I realised that most, if not all of the screws were loose and furthermore that the original bottom case was too big for the plastic chassis, which meant that to fit it, it had to be buckled. Perhaps this stress had been why the screws had worked loose.

In any case, the screws were still in perfect condition, so I used them to fit the new bottom case. Seeking advice on the forum, I bought some Loctite thread locker in the hope that this time the case would stay together.

Unfortunately, five out of the ten screws have now sheared: the short screws at the front and on the sides.

All I wanted was a backup machine to my AIO Dell.

The linux world oversold this machine but the reviewers were in part relaying the message put out by Pine64 of "a solid day to day linux experience".

It's time to move on.

In the meantime I imagine that Pine64 have come to realise that they need to have the internal skills and know-how to oversee their Chinese subcontractors.
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#2
I ordered my Pinebook Pro in 2019, and received it in 2020.  It has been my main machine now for about 9 months, and I have observed none of those issues with this one.  Perhaps you received a lemon.  (In any production run there HAS to be ONE!)

My issues: weak sound, as others have also reported, and slow boot.  (Faster boot from SD, but then slightly slower operation (using A2 SD cards).

I am amazed that you got screws to shear!  Admittedly, I have only had it apart once to investigate those speaker wires, but I found no weakness in the screws. 

My thoughts for you: 1. if you got the lemon, perhaps ordering a new one would be a better investment of your time and money.  I suspect there are many people who would love to experiment with an old Pro and would not mind the cost of a couple of screws or some gorilla glue.  (I recommend against Duct Tape for securing cases.  One look and you would know why! ) 
2. If the experience has turned you right off of PPRO, then perhaps gift it and put your money into a nice inexpensive X86_64 compatible refurbished laptop that you can load with almost any Linux or BSD distribution. 

My thoughts for Pine64: China was THE BEST production source location.  There are things calling that into question now.  Compromises need to be made between production costs and quality control.  If the experience  of quadrantids is or becomes typical, someone is going to have to make some hard decisions about that balance.  I, for one, would rather pay a bit more to be certain that the PPRO will be a quality product that will enhance the PINE64 reputation.
Ancient teacher (Secondary Field Science/Math), Warrior (USARNG- RET SSG), and IT warrior (30+ years Coder, Network/Systems Administrator, general house geek). 
Pinebook Pro user (Debian, Manjaro)
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#3
I have been using the PinebookPro as a newbie since Sept 2020 when I got it. Use it daily. I wanted to get into Linux stuff to waste time while locked down. To me, the PBP is amazing, I would use it as a daily driver if I didn't already have one. The only negative for me is the trackpad, which then also seems to impact my typing as I bump the trackpad and the cursor jumps. I have developed work arounds (external trackpad and my ergo keyboard). I read all these posts about people have trouble and have to wonder if I just lucky. I love my PBP!
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#4
AFAIK there were quality control issues throughout 2020 thanks to the friendly SARS-CoV-2 in everyone's neighbourhood, but I have to agree there are also design flaws:
  • I can confirm that bottom cover is an extremely tight fit for the plastic top, plus it has very sharp edges - much sharper than, e.g., MacBook Pro or Razer Blade that have a similar bottom cover construction. The first time I had to open mine to upgrade eMMC module I cut my hand, and the cut was surprisingly deep too. That said, my cover is still in place, no sheared or loose screws.
  • I can confirm the software is still to this day is not perfect, though it is mostly the matter of kernel and Mesa drivers, and since around summer 2020 it got to a pretty damn usable state, but support is distro-specific and AFAIK one can expect out-of-the-box support only in Manjaro and Armbian.
  • I can confirm sound issues - tons of them. Again, a combination of design flaws (from my understanding - the way audio routing is done, headphone detection, etc.) and immature drivers (no proper sleep support). Most of these issues can be worked around though (e.g. headphone detection script in Manjaro, my script here in the forums for restoring sound after sleep), but for good out-of-the-box experience those workarounds would need to be packaged for each distro and pre-installed on the PBP images.
  • Most of the units have problems with misaligned lid magnet, causing PBP to not go to sleep when lid is closed - that's pretty big one.
  • Rubber feet getting loose, especially those that are under the areas that get hot from the SoC, on the left back corner - that one goes first. More of a minor annoyance, since they can be reasonably easily glued back with cyanoacrylate (superglue), but would be nice to have them reliably attached straight out of the factory.

All of that said, I've been using mine as my main driver since pretty much almost immediately after I received it in Jan/Feb 2020. However, I'm not an average user, not even an average Linux user as I develop on and for Linux as my daily job. And though before PBP I had no experience with Linux on ARM I've had many years of experience with Linux on x86 platforms before coming to PBP, so once I figured out the ARM vs x86 quirks I was back in my native waters. Physical hardware - I rebuild vintage laptops as a hobby, so I know my way around glues and screws and fragile plastics.
Bottom line - I have to agree with OP that while as a hacker device PBP is fine, especially for it's price, as a consumer device it still has a very long way to go. But then AFAIK it has never been marketed as a consumer device in the first place, so caveat emptor.
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#5
Please, have a look at this thread, which sums up major hardware issues.  I really cannot understand why Pine64 remains silent about those clearly identified major hardware issues with the PineBook Pro?  The community clearly wants to see the PineBook Pro evolving into a better product, but all attempts to bring that to Pine64's attention have failed so far.
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#6
"The Pinebook Pro is meant to deliver solid day-to-day Linux or *BSD experience and to be a compelling alternative to mid-ranged Chromebooks that people convert into Linux laptops."

That's how it's being marketed as of now. And it is a problem because it's nothing like that. While I can agree that most of the software problems are possible to workaround, you just can't workaround hardware issues mentioned in the thread from previous post.
It also suffers from very poor build quality.

These hardware issues are known for over a year and p64 has done nothing to resolve them. They just keep selling a product that is known to be faulty. Where is honesty and decency ?
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#7
(03-22-2021, 12:40 AM)as400 Wrote: These hardware issues are known for over a year and p64 has done nothing to resolve them. They just keep selling a product that is known to be faulty. Where is honesty and decency ?

If I were to hazard a guess - it has to do with costs. I wouldn't be the first one to express an idea that by price-limiting their products Pine are painting themselves into a corner - they cannot get new units into the hands of the users since the shortages hit, and I have to wonder how are they financing their original R&D. Because all the economic breakdowns of the device costs I've seen show one of the biggest parts is actually amortized R&D cost, and it's the R&D that's needed to resolve the issues, not just QC alone - certain designs are just more prone to issues than others, given the same workmanship quality.

But then I've never actually built a hardware product myself, and I know nothing of Pine's financial structure, so I may be just talking out of my ass.
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#8
I guess there is at least one benefit to never using "latest greatest" stuff. I have low expectations. But the bottom line is that the whole reason I bought my first PBP was that for the same price, the best I could do was a broken laptop, or one with dead batteries.

Sure there are things I would've done different had I designed it. But no one else would like my modifications, probably. But this is one of the things I found intriguing about the PBP: I can easily modify it as it is, if I had the time to play with it.
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#9
Arm Linux laptop or phone is very much a  hobbyist or tinkerers  market.
It is very hard to make a low cost low volume  product and it may not be sustainable.
So in spite of the quality issues I think you have to laud their efforts.
They started with SBC's (I have got their Rock64). But after the Raspberry Pi 4 
was released I don't think their SBC's are competitive.

My suggestion for them would be to partner with a high volume Android phone/tablet 
manufacturer who is willing to release kernel and uboot code and resell them as 
development platform. Another benefit would be that we can have access to more recent 
SOC's built on new process technology.
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#10
(03-22-2021, 08:36 PM)Vasant Wrote: My suggestion for them would be to partner with a high volume Android phone/tablet 
manufacturer who is willing to release kernel and uboot code and resell them as 
development platform. Another benefit would be that we can have access to more recent 
SOC's built on new process technology.

I admit I like that idea.
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