PineTab 2 (arm64) thoughts and questions
#1
Hello all. I got my PineTab 2 last week and it's been pretty fun so far. It's definitely not a replacement for the PineBook Pro.

I'm typing this on the PineTab 2 right now, pretty cool.

Questions:

1. Does anyone know of a case or device that makes this tablet "feel" or work more like a laptop? Meaning, I want to put it on my lap and I don't want the keyboard flopping around. I want it to open and work more like a real laptop. I've been looking and I can't find anything.

2. Is there a such thing as a supported WiFi and bluetooth adapter which is combined into 1 device? I use bluetooth pretty often. I have an adapter that should work, I just don't want to use a hub so I can have both devices active at once.

3. Is there some way to get packages from elsewhere? For example, there is no qemu package in the default repository. I don't know Linux well enough to know if I get packages from somewhere else if that will fundamentally break this. From BSD, an architecture is pretty much an architecture and the packages work on everything that has a given CPU.

Thoughts:

It's not super duper fast, but pretty reasonable for light tasks. I'm enjoying it. It's only just a bit slower than the PineBook Pro.

I had issues with Plasma when I pinned programs to the task bar. For example, if I pin Firefox to the task bar Plasma has issues when I log out and log back in. I don't know if that's a Plasma problem or a PineTab 2 problem.

I wish the battery life was longer but maybe this will get better over time with better hardware support.

Kinda wanting the RISC-V one now...
  Reply
#2
(06-12-2023, 12:40 PM)acruhl Wrote: Hello all. I got my PineTab 2 last week and it's been pretty fun so far. It's definitely not a replacement for the PineBook Pro.

I'm typing this on the PineTab 2 right now, pretty cool.

Questions:

1. Does anyone know of a case or device that makes this tablet "feel" or work more like a laptop? Meaning, I want to put it on my lap and I don't want the keyboard flopping around. I want it to open and work more like a real laptop. I've been looking and I can't find anything.

2. Is there a such thing as a supported WiFi and bluetooth adapter which is combined into 1 device? I use bluetooth pretty often. I have an adapter that should work, I just don't want to use a hub so I can have both devices active at once.

3. Is there some way to get packages from elsewhere? For example, there is no qemu package in the default repository. I don't know Linux well enough to know if I get packages from somewhere else if that will fundamentally break this. From BSD, an architecture is pretty much an architecture and the packages work on everything that has a given CPU.

Thoughts:

It's not super duper fast, but pretty reasonable for light tasks. I'm enjoying it. It's only just a bit slower than the PineBook Pro.

I had issues with Plasma when I pinned programs to the task bar. For example, if I pin Firefox to the task bar Plasma has issues when I log out and log back in. I don't know if that's a Plasma problem or a PineTab 2 problem.

I wish the battery life was longer but maybe this will get better over time with better hardware support.

Kinda wanting the RISC-V one now...

1- no clue about the case, someone else might know

2- here's a list of working usb-wifi dongles supported drivers, i'm not sure if they also have bluetooth, but you could check: https://github.com/morrownr/USB-WiFi/blo...rt_List.md

3- You should be able to install packages from somewhere else or compile them yourself and this should not break your system, unless you remove things or there's conflicts, just read about the package before doing it. (i installed Vivaldi snapshot from their site and it's not in the repos).
Why do you say qemu it's not available?
The software you mention is in the official Extra repository of arch: https://archlinuxarm.org/packages/aarch6...system-arm so you should be able to download and install it.
In the terminal type "sudo pacman -Ss qemu" this will list "qemu" packages on my device i get a bunch of them which means they exist and i can install them.
Just checking if you don't see them for any other reason.
If they don't show up in "discover" try the terminal, i don't like discover much (might be personal but it does not really work well for me)... pacman is the command to install packages in arch (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/pacman)

About the plasma task bar, what issue you have when you pin programs?

Hope any of this helps out Smile
  Reply
#3
at this time, to find an alternative case you'll need to take measurements (or the tab2 itself) and check each potential case to ensure it will fit.

for the wifi/bt, i've had great success with the tp-link tu2b. i simply installed the drivers from the aur (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/rtl8812au-dkms-git) and then plugged the wifi/bt dongle+usba->usbc adapter into my tab2. now i have working wifi and bt.

you should be able install package files obtained elsewhere with "# pacman -U /path/to/package" you can also check out Yay (https://github.com/Jguer/yay) to search/install from the AUR.
  Reply
#4
(06-13-2023, 01:51 AM)Corconegre Wrote: 3- You should be able to install packages from somewhere else or compile them yourself and this should not break your system, unless you remove things or there's conflicts, just read about the package before doing it. (i installed Vivaldi snapshot from their site and it's not in the repos).
Why do you say qemu it's not available?
The software you mention is in the official Extra repository of arch: https://archlinuxarm.org/packages/aarch6...system-arm so you should be able to download and install it.
In the terminal type "sudo pacman -Ss qemu" this will list "qemu" packages on my device i get a bunch of them which means they exist and i can install them.
Just checking if you don't see them for any other reason.
If they don't show up in "discover" try the terminal, i don't like discover much (might be personal but it does not really work well for me)... pacman is the command to install packages in arch (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/pacman)

About the plasma task bar, what issue you have when you pin programs?

Hope any of this helps out Smile

Yes, qemu does not show up in the Discover GUI but it does on the pacman command line. I didn't know there was a difference.

When I right click on the Firefox icon in the task bar and choose to pin it, the next time I log in or reboot I get a blank screen after entering my password to log in. It seems like Plasma struggles with some of it's own config a little bit, it gets very laggy when I make changes. Anyway, not sure if that's a PineTab problem, probably not.
  Reply
#5
(06-14-2023, 08:17 PM)acruhl Wrote:
(06-13-2023, 01:51 AM)Corconegre Wrote: 3- You should be able to install packages from somewhere else or compile them yourself and this should not break your system, unless you remove things or there's conflicts, just read about the package before doing it. (i installed Vivaldi snapshot from their site and it's not in the repos).
Why do you say qemu it's not available?
The software you mention is in the official Extra repository of arch: https://archlinuxarm.org/packages/aarch6...system-arm so you should be able to download and install it.
In the terminal type "sudo pacman -Ss qemu" this will list "qemu" packages on my device i get a bunch of them which means they exist and i can install them.
Just checking if you don't see them for any other reason.
If they don't show up in "discover" try the terminal, i don't like discover much (might be personal but it does not really work well for me)... pacman is the command to install packages in arch (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/pacman)

About the plasma task bar, what issue you have when you pin programs?

Hope any of this helps out Smile

Yes, qemu does not show up in the Discover GUI but it does on the pacman command line. I didn't know there was a difference.

When I right click on the Firefox icon in the task bar and choose to pin it, the next time I log in or reboot I get a blank screen after entering my password to log in. It seems like Plasma struggles with some of it's own config a little bit, it gets very laggy when I make changes. Anyway, not sure if that's a PineTab problem, probably not.
It was my first time with discover also, but i run manjaro on my desktop so i had experience with pacman, i tried and... surprise!
Except for pamac any other gui i tried for this does not really work (my experience)

About the laggy issue the only thing i can say is i do not experience it, not sure how to help here...
Was tinking about the amount of ram (mine has 8) but not even sure it can be related.
I guess this happens with any program not just firefox.
Maybe someone else can help.
  Reply
#6
(06-12-2023, 12:40 PM)acruhl Wrote: 2. Is there a such thing as a supported WiFi and bluetooth adapter which is combined into 1 device? I use bluetooth pretty often. I have an adapter that should work, I just don't want to use a hub so I can have both devices active at once.

Partial answer to this:

I bought a TP-LinkNano 2-in-1 AC600 USB adapter (very small) and it works with Fedora on my Pinebook Pro. I tested WiFi and Bluetooth and they both work. Don't know how this helps the Pine Tab 2 though, there doesn't seem to be a driver in any Arch based ARM distribution I think.

This is what it looks like on Manjaro on my Pinebook Pro in dmesg:

[ 1598.596949] usb 3-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-platform
[ 1598.759269] usb 3-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c820, bcdDevice= 2.00
[ 1598.759321] usb 3-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[ 1598.759344] usb 3-1.1: Product: 802.11ac NIC
[ 1598.759363] usb 3-1.1: Manufacturer: Realtek
[ 1598.759380] usb 3-1.1: SerialNumber: 123456
[ 1598.786440] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: examining hci_ver=08 hci_rev=000c lmp_ver=08 lmp_subver=8821
[ 1598.787359] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: rom_version status=0 version=1
[ 1598.787375] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_fw.bin
[ 1598.793884] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_config.bin
[ 1598.795210] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: cfg_sz 10, total sz 34926
[ 1599.260303] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: fw version 0x75b8f098
[ 1599.335654] Bluetooth: MGMT ver 1.22
  Reply
#7
(08-27-2023, 06:34 PM)acruhl Wrote:
(06-12-2023, 12:40 PM)acruhl Wrote: 2. Is there a such thing as a supported WiFi and bluetooth adapter which is combined into 1 device? I use bluetooth pretty often. I have an adapter that should work, I just don't want to use a hub so I can have both devices active at once.

Partial answer to this:

I bought a TP-LinkNano 2-in-1 AC600 USB adapter (very small) and it works with Fedora on my Pinebook Pro. I tested WiFi and Bluetooth and they both work. Don't know how this helps the Pine Tab 2 though, there doesn't seem to be a driver in any Arch based ARM distribution I think.

This is what it looks like on Manjaro on my Pinebook Pro in dmesg:

[ 1598.596949] usb 3-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-platform
[ 1598.759269] usb 3-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c820, bcdDevice= 2.00
[ 1598.759321] usb 3-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[ 1598.759344] usb 3-1.1: Product: 802.11ac NIC
[ 1598.759363] usb 3-1.1: Manufacturer: Realtek
[ 1598.759380] usb 3-1.1: SerialNumber: 123456
[ 1598.786440] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: examining hci_ver=08 hci_rev=000c lmp_ver=08 lmp_subver=8821
[ 1598.787359] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: rom_version status=0 version=1
[ 1598.787375] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_fw.bin
[ 1598.793884] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_config.bin
[ 1598.795210] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: cfg_sz 10, total sz 34926
[ 1599.260303] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: fw version 0x75b8f098
[ 1599.335654] Bluetooth: MGMT ver 1.22

You're in luck, Manjaro is Archbased, so if it works there, you can get it working in Arch too. Here's a driver for that chipset in the AUR: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/rtl8821ce-dkms-git
  Reply
#8
(08-28-2023, 12:01 PM)tophneal Wrote:
(08-27-2023, 06:34 PM)acruhl Wrote:
(06-12-2023, 12:40 PM)acruhl Wrote: 2. Is there a such thing as a supported WiFi and bluetooth adapter which is combined into 1 device? I use bluetooth pretty often. I have an adapter that should work, I just don't want to use a hub so I can have both devices active at once.

Partial answer to this:

I bought a TP-LinkNano 2-in-1 AC600 USB adapter (very small) and it works with Fedora on my Pinebook Pro. I tested WiFi and Bluetooth and they both work. Don't know how this helps the Pine Tab 2 though, there doesn't seem to be a driver in any Arch based ARM distribution I think.

This is what it looks like on Manjaro on my Pinebook Pro in dmesg:

[ 1598.596949] usb 3-1.1: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-platform
[ 1598.759269] usb 3-1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c820, bcdDevice= 2.00
[ 1598.759321] usb 3-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[ 1598.759344] usb 3-1.1: Product: 802.11ac NIC
[ 1598.759363] usb 3-1.1: Manufacturer: Realtek
[ 1598.759380] usb 3-1.1: SerialNumber: 123456
[ 1598.786440] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: examining hci_ver=08 hci_rev=000c lmp_ver=08 lmp_subver=8821
[ 1598.787359] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: rom_version status=0 version=1
[ 1598.787375] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_fw.bin
[ 1598.793884] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: loading rtl_bt/rtl8821c_config.bin
[ 1598.795210] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: cfg_sz 10, total sz 34926
[ 1599.260303] Bluetooth: hci1: RTL: fw version 0x75b8f098
[ 1599.335654] Bluetooth: MGMT ver 1.22

You're in luck, Manjaro is Archbased, so if it works there, you can get it working in Arch too. Here's a driver for that chipset in the AUR: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/rtl8821ce-dkms-git

It doesn't work with Majaro, I was just copying out the dmesg. It works in Fedora. I'll check out the driver. I haven't messed with Linux kernel stuff in a very long time.
  Reply


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