Battery and hard drive upgrades et al.
#1
Hello,

A couple of things are important about a laptop to me. First, the battery. Is the battery removable and can I buy a new one? Batteries do wear down so a replacement is important. If the batteries are replaceable, how much would they be?

Next, I missed the free hard drive upgrade and 64 gigs is nothing. How much for the hard drive upgrade?

Finally important, but not always a deal breaker, is screen flex. Some manufacturers add extra plastic around the screen so it is not as flimsy and won't break easily. Is the screen for the laptop stable or does it flex?


Please advise and thanks!
#2
(08-18-2019, 03:06 PM)ikhider Wrote: Hello,

A couple of things are important about a laptop to me. First, the battery. Is the battery removable and can I buy a new one? Batteries do wear down so a replacement is important. If the batteries are replaceable, how much would they be?

Next, I missed the free hard drive upgrade and 64 gigs is nothing. How much for the hard drive upgrade?

Finally important, but not always a deal breaker, is screen flex. Some manufacturers add extra plastic around the screen so it is not as flimsy and won't break easily. Is the screen for the laptop stable or does it flex?


Please advise and thanks!

For info the "hard drive" in the PineBook is just a very small (smaller than SD or postage-stamp sized) eMMC memory module.
Current max size is 128GB though (expensive) 256GB is on the horizon.
eMMC is common type of flash-memory format in tablet PCs (and mobile phones?).
There is no provision for a "conventional" (2.5-inch) hard disk or SSD in the PineBook chassis.

Nothing stopping you fitting an external drive to the USB socket though.
#3
(08-18-2019, 03:21 PM)neilman Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 03:06 PM)ikhider Wrote: Hello,

A couple of things are important about a laptop to me. First, the battery. Is the battery removable and can I buy a new one? Batteries do wear down so a replacement is important. If the batteries are replaceable, how much would they be?

Next, I missed the free hard drive upgrade and 64 gigs is nothing. How much for the hard drive upgrade?

Finally important, but not always a deal breaker, is screen flex. Some manufacturers add extra plastic around the screen so it is not as flimsy and won't break easily. Is the screen for the laptop stable or does it flex?


Please advise and thanks!

For info the "hard drive" in the PineBook is just a very small (smaller than SD or postage-stamp sized) eMMC memory module.
Current max size is 128GB though (expensive) 256GB is on the horizon.
eMMC is common type of flash-memory format in tablet PCs (and mobile phones?).
There is no provision for a "conventional" (2.5-inch) hard disk or SSD in the PineBook chassis.

Nothing stopping you fitting an external drive to the USB socket though.

@neilman Can you answer any of my questions?
#4
(08-18-2019, 04:11 PM)ikhider Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 03:21 PM)neilman Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 03:06 PM)ikhider Wrote: Hello,

A couple of things are important about a laptop to me. First, the battery. Is the battery removable and can I buy a new one? Batteries do wear down so a replacement is important. If the batteries are replaceable, how much would they be?

Next, I missed the free hard drive upgrade and 64 gigs is nothing. How much for the hard drive upgrade?

Finally important, but not always a deal breaker, is screen flex. Some manufacturers add extra plastic around the screen so it is not as flimsy and won't break easily. Is the screen for the laptop stable or does it flex?


Please advise and thanks!

For info the "hard drive" in the PineBook is just a very small (smaller than SD or postage-stamp sized) eMMC memory module.
Current max size is 128GB though (expensive) 256GB is on the horizon.
eMMC is common type of flash-memory format in tablet PCs (and mobile phones?).
There is no provision for a "conventional" (2.5-inch) hard disk or SSD in the PineBook chassis.

Nothing stopping you fitting an external drive to the USB socket though.

@neilman Can you answer any of my questions?
I have the "original" (plastic) 11-inch PineBook and its screen does flex if mishandled and can possibly flex enough to break the screen.
Doesn't look like any way to really brace and rigidise the lid to prevent flexing.
PineBook Pro is a magnesium case so may be a lot stronger - I'll find out when I get one.


An older topic discussed replacing the (standard PineBook) battery - there was a replacement battery available from a Chinese vendor on Ebay wanting something like US$50 for it but I didn't not know how the battery is fitted.
Not sure whether Pine Shop has batteries - Lithium batteries are a contentious issue with postal authorities (Chinese Ebay vendors seem to ignore and post anyway)

Pine have advised that the 64GB eMMC supplied with the new PineBook Pro will not be exchanged for a 128GB eMMC at the factory - you will have to purchase it seperately at $55 from the Pine store then fit it yourself.

Does that help any?
#5
@neilman Ahh, thanks. I have seen another machine from a major manufacturer who makes a machine available cheaper than this with an AMD A6 CPU, a discrete graphics card, RAM upgradeable to 12 gigs and has a 500 gig HDD, which I would immediately swap to to ssd. The battery life is pretty good, but the thing is not designed that well. So it comes down to supporting a better manufacturer (PINE 64), it just looks like it'll cost me. Though the battery things I need to research deeper for both models.
#6
Absolutely - research research research Smile 

PineBook has never been touted as a "power user" machine so if you do need some serious grunt, bags of RAM and HDD space then you will probably need to look at the bigger players.

As the PineBook Pro reaches users, real soon now, then you'll get some useful feedback from them and you can decide if you'll find it a useful addition to your collection.
#7
(08-18-2019, 05:04 PM)neilman Wrote: Absolutely - research research research Smile 

PineBook has never been touted as a "power user" machine so if you do need some serious grunt, bags of RAM and HDD space then you will probably need to look at the bigger players.

As the PineBook Pro reaches users, real soon now, then you'll get some useful feedback from them and you can decide if you'll find it a useful addition to your collection.

I understand that Pine has limited resources and I do want to support the project, however, Pine also has to have the customers' back. That means have batteries for sale when the customer wants it and to ship with whatever size OS/storage drive the client wants. If the client sees others get larger drives and s/he wants one too, why not give her one? Why do they have to buy something to get rid of so they can get what they really want. Other manufacturers make this mistake; install drives and operating systems that Linux (or whatever OS) users do not want. Pine64 can be the company that listens. 'Hey, you want a larger drive and don't want to waste money on a smaller one? No problem! You want back up batteries so your machine can last longer? No problem! You will pay extra for a longer term hardware warranty? No problem! You broke your laptop and want to buy parts? No problem!" I can make the ProBook work for me and can handle the dead pixels and limitations, but look after me, the client. I want to keep and use the probook and that means have the storage capacity I want and the battery life I need. I love looking at my back-up batteries while I hug my new laptop.
#8
(08-18-2019, 10:08 PM)ikhider Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 05:04 PM)neilman Wrote: Absolutely - research research research Smile 

PineBook has never been touted as a "power user" machine so if you do need some serious grunt, bags of RAM and HDD space then you will probably need to look at the bigger players.

As the PineBook Pro reaches users, real soon now, then you'll get some useful feedback from them and you can decide if you'll find it a useful addition to your collection.

I understand that Pine has limited resources and I do want to support the project, however, Pine also has to have the customers' back. That means have batteries for sale when the customer wants it and to ship with whatever size OS/storage drive the client wants. If the client sees others get larger drives and s/he wants one too, why not give her one? Why do they have to buy something to get rid of so they can get what they really want. Other manufacturers make this mistake; install drives and operating systems that Linux (or whatever OS) users do not want. Pine64 can be the company that listens. 'Hey, you want a larger drive and don't want to waste money on a smaller one? No problem! You want back up batteries so your machine can last longer? No problem! You will pay extra for a longer term hardware warranty? No problem! You broke your laptop and want to buy parts? No problem!" I can make the ProBook work for me and can handle the dead pixels and limitations, but look after me, the client. I want to keep and use the probook and that means have the storage capacity I want and the battery life I need. I love looking at my back-up batteries while I hug my new laptop.

Every bit of customisation means a human has to sit down and make the alteration, costing time and money. Pine64 operates on very slim margins so doing that customisation themselves would be bad for the company. It's far better for them and us to let us do the modifications we want. 

If you want to extend the storage, get the nvme adapter with your pine book pro and fit an nvme SSD. They come in up to 2TB these days so should be plenty.

Replacement batteries I haven't heard anything about but looking at the battery there's nothing fancy going on. Looks like 3 positive pins, 3 negative pins and a temperature sensor (?) so cobbling something together ourselves should be possible. I'd still like to see an official battery sold through the store.
#9
(08-19-2019, 12:07 AM)CampGareth Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 10:08 PM)ikhider Wrote:
(08-18-2019, 05:04 PM)neilman Wrote: Absolutely - research research research Smile 

PineBook has never been touted as a "power user" machine so if you do need some serious grunt, bags of RAM and HDD space then you will probably need to look at the bigger players.

As the PineBook Pro reaches users, real soon now, then you'll get some useful feedback from them and you can decide if you'll find it a useful addition to your collection.

I understand that Pine has limited resources and I do want to support the project, however, Pine also has to have the customers' back. That means have batteries for sale when the customer wants it and to ship with whatever size OS/storage drive the client wants. If the client sees others get larger drives and s/he wants one too, why not give her one? Why do they have to buy something to get rid of so they can get what they really want. Other manufacturers make this mistake; install drives and operating systems that Linux (or whatever OS) users do not want. Pine64 can be the company that listens. 'Hey, you want a larger drive and don't want to waste money on a smaller one? No problem! You want back up batteries so your machine can last longer? No problem! You will pay extra for a longer term hardware warranty? No problem! You broke your laptop and want to buy parts? No problem!" I can make the ProBook work for me and can handle the dead pixels and limitations, but look after me, the client. I want to keep and use the probook and that means have the storage capacity I want and the battery life I need. I love looking at my back-up batteries while I hug my new laptop.

Every bit of customisation means a human has to sit down and make the alteration, costing time and money. Pine64 operates on very slim margins so doing that customisation themselves would be bad for the company. It's far better for them and us to let us do the modifications we want. 

If you want to extend the storage, get the nvme adapter with your pine book pro and fit an nvme SSD. They come in up to 2TB these days so should be plenty.

Replacement batteries I haven't heard anything about but looking at the battery there's nothing fancy going on. Looks like 3 positive pins, 3 negative pins and a temperature sensor (?) so cobbling something together ourselves should be possible. I'd still like to see an official battery sold through the store.

Well, if that's the case, then it should be called the Pinebook Intermediate: "We have what we have, you want something more go buy or build it."
#10
(08-19-2019, 12:27 AM)ikhider Wrote: Well, if that's the case, then it should be called the Pinebook Intermediate: "We have what we have, you want something more go buy or build it."

That's how every laptop manufacturer works. Speak to dell or hp or Asus and say you want one brand of hard drive over another, they will say no. You're still free to do it yourself, but they won't do it for you. 

If you want a customised laptop there are companies out there who build from an empty chassis like eurocom or PC Specialist. If you want long term direct from the manufacturer support then look to business grade laptops like thinkpads and dell latitudes, parts for which will be available 5-10 years later.

Personally I'm interested in a pinebook pro so I can do odd things that no other laptop manufacturer would allow, like hooking up a particulate monitor internally.


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