FOSDEM 2019 Blog! Pinebook Pro, PinePhone Dev Kits and much more!
#2
Part 2: FOSDEM Blog

For starters, I apologize that the blog post is up this late - nearly a week after FOSDEM wrapped up. The reason for this is rather trivial, namely I was sick during and after FOSDEM, and its first today that I am able to sit at my computer and write this blog up. This also means that there won't be a part 3 to the blog, which I intended to cover other projects I found interesting at FOSDEM - this is something I did last year. I simply did not get a chance to walk around FOSDEM this year ...

Before I start this post I want to give a huge shoutout to UBPorts and Manjaro devs as well as many other community members who stepped up and helped at the stall this year while I was at the Hotel under a duvet. All you guys did a great job, many thanks for holding the fort down!

[Image: lAcTqjt.jpg]

Before going though some of pictures I've taken, here is a FAQ relating to questions I've heard repeatedly asked on the forum or IRC/Discord over the past days ... and some clarifications / things I omitted by accident in the original post.


FAQ (in no particular order):
  • There is no PCIe on the Pinebook Pro; only a M.2 connector for a adapter for NVMe SSDs. This connector uses the PCIe interface
  • The PinePhone Dev kit (and end-user phone) has GPS and GLONAS (ec25-a chip)
  • The USB C on the PinePhone (end-user) will also do digital video out - the stand-alone HDMI is on the Dev board only
  • The PinePhone Dev kit uses a 18650 battery and not AA, as it has been suggested in some threads on the forum and elsewhere
  • The PineBook Pro will, most likely, only ship with the pictured keyboard ... we are exploring other options however
  • NVMe drives may be bootable in the PineBook Pro - not sure if first OS images will have this feature ... we'll see 
  • Its not certain if it will be possible to increase eMMC on the end-user PinePhone (you will certainly be able to expand storage using SD)
  • There are not hard dates for when the new devices will ship - I'll make sure to inform you when we know
  • The PinePhone Dev kit LCD panel is 5.5"
If I omitted something or if you have further questions pertaining to one or more points, then make sure to head over to the discussion thread


[Image: CbwEFNg.jpg]

For starters, here is an image with the Pinebook, PineTab and Pinebook Pro. In the photo you can see the difference in size of the three devices. I think the most interesting observation here concerns the PineTab and its keyboard; despite the PineTab being much smaller in size, the keyboard has keys that are approx. 80% of regular full sized keys. Don't worry, it still makes for comfortable typing and the keys have a satisfying 'click, clack' sound to them. The trackpad seems solid too. One word of caution for prospectus buyers of the PineTab - you will likely find it hard and uncomfortable to work on it if its sitting on your lap (we tried). The keyboard fabric in the back makes a triangular shape to prop up the screen. In result, there is very little surface area to actually make contact with your lap. The triangular stand is also held together using magnets, and so not the most sturdy on a rocky surface. Its nice and sturdy on a hard surface however, so it only applies to having the tablet with keyboard attached sitting on your lap. Just something to keep in mind.

One more thing I hope you can make out from the picture; the LCD bezels on the PineBook Pro are really nice and slim :Smile

[Image: AsOdtW0.jpg]

With the device announcements being widely covered by FOSS podcasts, Linux press as well as mainstream tech media, it probably isn't a massive surprise that the stall was under constant siege. In the picture above you can see people checking out the early PinePhone Dev kit that went out last year to key devs (its the device that is being pointed at). You can also see one of the demo dev kits running Maemo Leste (device in white case on the inner-side of the table, behind IIyama monitor).

For those of you who asked; the silver laptop on the table is also a PineBook Pro. It is just a prototype that was put together to evaluate color options prior to settling for the black case. This is the laptop that had its bottom take off to showcase the internals on FOSDEM floor.


A closer look at the big three devices and their guts: PinePhone, PineTab and Pinebook Pro

[Image: qee3ovj.jpg]

Here is a closer look at the PinePhone Dev kit that was shown at FOSDEM. In the pictures above you can see the the eMMC and BT/WiFi module mounted in their respective sockets, as well as the 18650 in the battery in the battery holder. On the front of the kit, underneath the 5.4" LCD panel, you can see the front-facing 2mpx camera. Around the edges (top, right, bottom) you can also see little white switches; these are the hardware switches for BT/WiFi, LTE and cameras. Speaking of the LTE, I have forgotten to include in-depth information about it in my initial post, so here it is: Quectel EC25-E. Google-fu it Smile

While pictures of the PinePhone Dev kit PCB and the layout have now been circulated online by many of the people who took pictures at our FOSDEM stall, I haven't seen any internal pictures of the PineTab, so here it is:

[Image: Z9nOzyH.jpg]

This is the PineTab stripped of its back. A quick side-note of some importance; its really easy to take off the back of the PineTab, so if you will be willing to do some poking and probing in the device then rest assured its quite easy to get in as the back is only held together using plastic tabs. Those of you who have a Pinebook, and have taken it apart, will also notice that the actual PCB is quite similar (imagine that the mainboard and daughter-board of the Pinebook were one PCB), and the one thing that really sets it apart from the PineBook is the ribbon for the touch panel. Also, you can see the connector terminating in pogo pins on the right-hand side that attaches to the keyboard + trackpad. On the leading edge of the PCB with IO you can see (from the left) the full-sized USB 2.0, Micro USB 2.0 OTG, mHDMI and mSD card slot. On the oposite side of the pogo pins connector you can see the 2mpx rear camera, and next to it the WiFi antenna. There may be tweaks to this layout for production units.

 [Image: DrPCaAD.jpg]

Lastly we have the back of the PineBook Pro off exposing the internals. Some users who visited our booth at FOSDEM already snapped and shared pictures of the Pinebook Pro internals, but I figured I'd share it here on the forum as surely not everyone have seen the internal layout yet. Some of you may notice that the overall layout is actually nearly identical to that of the 14" Pinebook that shipped in 2017-2018. To the left of the chassis you can see the daughter-board, which hosts a single USB 2.0 and aux out. Its connected using a cable that runs underneath the battery to the main board.  A number of people asked where the NVMe drive will be placed; the adapter will attach to the connector on the main board (bottom-right of main PCB) and trace down to the palm rest where you can see 3 threaded posts (with the trackpad wire running though them). The NVMe SSD will be placed under the palm rest, just left of the speaker.
Its important to note that the pictured prototype does not have any cooling. Cooling is still in an evaluation phase and a final decision on how the SOC will be cooled hasn't been made. It will be passively cooled, that's for sure, and there will likely be a heat-pipe running down, right and away from the PCB. Its unclear at this time if it will be necessary for the heat-pipe to make contact with the bottom of the metal Pinebook Pro housing.
As for the mainboard key component placement, starting with top left you can see the BT/WiFi chip, followed by SPI and eDP connector. On the laptop's left side you have power input, USB 3.0 and USB type C; underneath the USB type C you can see the NVMe adapter connector. At the bottom of the PCB, from the right, we have the speaker connector, trackpad and keyboard connectors. Lastly on the left of the PCB, from the bottom going up, we have battery connector, daughter-board connector, microphone connector and lastly, at the top, the WiFi antenna.

That's about it for this year's blog. Once again, sorry for writing this second part this late ... and I also apologize for their being no third part this year. I'll do better next year Wink


Messages In This Thread
RE: FOSDEM 2019 Blog! Pinebook Pro, PinePhone Dev Kits and much more! - by Luke - 02-11-2019, 04:40 PM

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