Pinebook Pro Initial Impressions
I am a new Linux user. I installed Mint on my desktop last week to become familiar with Linux. Today I received my Pinebook Pro. I was a little apprehensive about setting up my new computer because of reading about others problems setting theirs up.  First boot was much like installing Mint. I accidentally set my default language to a language I do not speak. But now after a little effort I have a computer that speaks my language. Making the fonts larger for my old eyes was a breeze.  I do not know any Linux code and was worried I would need too to make this computer work. I did not. I think my track pad has a extra piece of plastic film over it which is not really any problem. No dead pixels on screen. My initial impression of the computer is positive. Everyone involved in creating this machine "Well Done".

Some problems as of 06/20/20
No battery charge icon any longer.
Sometimes I have audio output sometimes I do not.
Computer sometimes can recognize USB/External hard drives/ Micro SD cards.Sometimes not.
Crazy crazy crazy scene flicker when machine is plugged in to AC power.
When in sleep mode battery drains.


As of 06/21/20
I am not a track pad fan of this or any other. I purchased a wireless mouse as planned. It works in both USB-A and C ports. When I have crazy screen flicker when plugged in to the mains my wireless mouse is plugged in to USB-C port. This could just be a coincidence. I am rather reluctant to reproduce the behavior. I purchased a USB non powered hub and so far is working with no problems. I learned in settings you have to allow the computer to read external USB's and hard drives to be able to use them. I seem to consistently have audio output now. So some wins.  ***I miss spoke about the USB ports. I meant to write USB A ports 2.0 and 3.0. The flicker happens when using the port on the left side of the computer.***

As of 06/24/20
I realized that if I wanted to run the latest version of Manjaro Arm 64 on my PBP I had to install it myself and not just check the package manager for the latest version. Well I am halfway there. I created a live micro SD card with Manjaro 20.06 on it. The computer boots from it just fine. The machine runs much faster now. I have a battery icon once more. Later I will find out if the sleep function uses less battery power. I feel much better about my Pinebook now. I would like to have the 20.06 version installed on the internal emmc but have not a clue how to do it.


As of 07/08/20
Not able to install Manjaro 20.06 to the internal eMMC even with lots of help from others. Screen just goes blank for a second or two randomly. Display looks like an old analog screen of static at random times . Machine locks up from 10 seconds - 2 minutes before unlocking. Sometimes a reboot is the only thing that will unlock it. Drops Wi-Fi randomly. Latest updates fixed battery icon and sleeping issues. When running an OS from a micro SD card machine can read USB flashdrives and external harddrives with no problems. Hardrives have to be pluged into a powered USB hub. Installed OS can not mount external harddrives and sometimes can not even read USB flashdrives. No codic to watch Amazon Prime Videos. I am still impressed with the machine but I think better componets should have been chosen in the design. I would have been happy to pay $100 more for a more reliable machine that could have run Mint and had much fewer bugs imho.
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I decied it was time I posted my thoughts on the PBP.  Mine must have come from the first couple pallets - I was notified by DHL It shipped on the May 26th, and it was on my doorstep in Ottawa, Canada by the afternoon of the May 28th!  I haven't had many dealings with DHL, so it was interesting to see how quickly they got my package from Hong Kong to Ottawa in that short time.  The routing was  Hong Kong -> Cincinnati -> Montreal -> Ottawa.  

As I see others have commented, there were some additional costs.  I will say, not unexpected based on past experience.  The US$199.99 plus US$33 shipping converted to C$345.95 on my credit card.  The DHL invoice for customs and taxes was C$61.  So, the final cost on my doorstep was C$406.95.  If I'd expected that initially, I might have been a bit less impulsive with my purchase.  

I was surprised to read about the quality issues with the first batch in the June update from Lukasz.  My unit is without any defects or issues as far as I can tell.  

While I waited for by PBP to arrive, I experimented with different flavours of Manajro on my "spare" x86_64 desktop system.  My main desktop (a Ryzen 5 3600X) has been running Ubuntu since it was new.  I have not explored other distros for some time.  I started with Manjaro KDE, knowing that this was what the PBP would arrivwe with.  I had no issue wiith Manjaro per se.  But I do have a very specific issue with any KDE-based distro (I've now tried a couple) - it's handling of network shares.  I expect to be able to find a network share in the OS's file explorer, mount it, and have it behave like a mounted file system in any app I happen run.  This is the case with any distro that has GVFS-based file handling (Gnome, XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon, etc).  But not KDE, which doesn't mount file systems in a place that any non-KDE app will be able to find them.  As I've played with different distros, I have a very simple test - get Samba confi[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]gured, browse to my music share on my NAS and drag some music into Audacious.  Always works, except if you are using a KDE-based distro.  There are some solutions to this problem - utilities like smb4K and Gigolo.  For the life of me, I cannot get smb4k working on any architecture, x86_64 or ARM.  I did get Gigolo working on Intel Manjaro KDE and that would have been acceptable.  But Gigolo has not been compiled for ARM and smb4k is just as dysfunctional on ARM as it is on Intel.  So, I was pretty certain my path would be to XFCE on the Pinebook, and afer one last attempt to make smb4k work, I proceeded to install Manjaro XFCE, which has been problem free for me so far.[/font]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]The process of getting Manjaro XFCE installed on the internal eMMC drive on the PBP was not prob[/font]lem-free, but I think the problems were not with the PBP.  I created a bootable copy of Manjaro XFCE on my old 2012 MacBook Pro, under Linux  Mint.  The first attempt did not produce a bootable drive.  This was a brand new microSD card, so I decided to try deleting it's partitions and creating a new ext4 partition.  I don't know why, but this allowed me to create a bootable microSD card with Manajro XFCE on it.  I played with it a bit just to make sure there were no issues with Manjaro XFCE on the PBP.  None that I could see.  

Creating the eMMC installer microSD was more problematic.  I created sevceral images on the Macbook that would not boot, but failed in different ways.  I stumbled on a post my someone who cleaerly had no trouble creating bootable intstallers, but they were doing it ON THE PBP!  So, I decided to try that - I downloaded the image on the PBP and wrote it to the microSD card on the PBP.  This gave me an eMMC installer that worked perfectly.  From then, my PBP has been running Manajro XFCE and I have no complaints, as far as software is concerned.

There are really two issues I have with the PBP hardware.  The first is, I think, the elephant in the room - this is an an extremely slow computer.  My 2012 Macbook Pro totally smokes it.  If I had to pick one of them as my only computer, it's no contest, it would be the 2012 Macbook.  So, be warned, this is a device that is not up to the mark set my Intel 8 years ago.

The other negative may be equally difficult, depending.  I find the trackpad pretty horrible.  I'm a person who happily uses a good trackpad.  Again, referring to the 2012 Macbook, I would never consider an external mouse with it.  With the PBP, I've concluded it's only enjoyable to use with an external mouse.

Otherwise, I'm impressed with the hardware.  The screen looks fine to my eyes.  It was a struggle to get everything sized reasonably.  This is a software issue.  On the Macbook (with it's Retina display) Unbuntu and Mint looked great without adjustment.  Manjaro is not compensating for high res displays like Ubuntu and it's derivatives.  And that's right from the beginning, with the installer presenting at a reasonable size for the screen resolution.  

I find the keyboard quite decent.  The only typing issue I've had came from accidentally touching the touchpad which scoots the cursor off to somewhere I don't intend to type.  Battery life seems good, which I think is the upside of the unimpressive performance.  I was surprised to read that others had trouble witrh the WiFi.  For me it's been fine.  And that included downloading the eMMC installer image as previously mentioned.  

Getting back to performance, I tried streaming some Youtube videos and the best it can seem to handle is 320p.  If I tried to force that to 1080, it couldn't play smoothly.  I wondered if this was WiFI related, so I decied to buy a USB-3 dongle with an Ethernet port .  Wired ethernet did not improve streaming at all.   

So, to conclude, I have to put a rather blunt point on this - if someone offered me C$406 right now, I'd sell the PBP.  The old 2012 Macbook is going to die eventually, but it will be replaced with something that performs at least as well as it did.
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I finally got my Pinebook Pro on Monday. I got to spend a few days with it and quickly discovered some rough edges. Mainly the whole power consumption and using the battery as the main source for power instead of the barrel plug or usb-c power when plugged in thereby causing the laptop to shut down when battery is drained but still plugged in.

For a device that is created by and for a community that works hard to ensure the best possible experience it can deliver, is (in my view) very well done. I absolutely love this thing. I cannot wait to spend more time tinkering and exploring with it and be part of this community and find a way to contribute as much as I can.

The screen for me is great. This is my first experience with a 1080p screen and it looks great in my eyes. I watched my favorite channel on Xumo, Love Nature and I was blown away. I'm happy with the keyboard, trackpad, wifi and all the other things. My other family members were blown away with how the laptop looks and feels.

Video services such as Xumo, Pluto and Tubi work out of the box in Firefox. Nothing additional was needed to install. I finally get to use Firefox without it crashing on my every 20 seconds like it did on my previous setup.

Manjaro KDE has issues when applying window themes and Kwin keeps crashing. It could be because of Kvantum or something else, I'll be hitting up the Manjaro Arm forums to explore those issues. There are some other minor graphical anomolies that need to be explored to figure out how to fix them.

At some point, I'll be installing XFCE and giving that a run to see how that plays out.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this device possible. Plus, I think the community is fantastic. I've already had someone help to remind me of what I was getting into and another member already encouraged me to experiment.

And, if the Pine64 folks want a feather to put in their cap, they managed to get the units produced and shipped while Nintendo is figuring out when and how to supply more Switches to customers during these difficult times. Wink
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Just got my PBP, loving it so far!

One thing I think it could do with (and I don't know if I'll be the only one here) is a couple of the rubber feet/stand offs in the top middle either side of the camera above the screen. Only because when I'm picking my laptop up I normally hold it in the middle and I can feel the case flex and I'm conscious that the webcam will be pushed down onto the bottom edge every time I pick it up from the front.

EDIT:
I've been looking around online to see if I can get any of the small rubber standoffs to stick next to the webcam and I can't seem to find any that small anywhere (I'm looking for ones to match the two already on the laptop in the corners of the screen). I've measured them at around 4mm wide and 1mm tall. The smallest rubber feet I can find are 8mm wide and 3mm tall. Would it be possible to buy these off the Pine Store or get a link to where I might be able to buy them from so I/others can get the right size/matching stand offs?
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Longtime linux user, never used Manjaro before but I started on Mandrake 6.1 back in the 90s with a hand-me-down P166, when Mandrake was just a better version of Red Hat you could purchase in bookstores (?).

Received my mid-2020 pinebook pro early today, it was supposed to arrive monday. The build quality definitely meets expectations, the keyboard feels great and I'll have to get used to dealing with the multitouch trackpad. I find them annoying because they have to be big and my palms beneath my thumbs sometimes hit them so I always turn things off. I'm not enjoying the Manjaro experience on that level so I'll be installing something with MATE soon.

Everything has worked as expected out of the box, the screen is fitted well and has no obvious dead pixels, and I have not seen any physical defects reported with the early-2020 COVID models. Hopefully everyone else sees the same quality.
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(08-28-2020, 04:33 PM)bifo Wrote: Longtime linux user, never used Manjaro before but I started on Mandrake 6.1 back in the 90s with a hand-me-down P166, when Mandrake was just a better version of Red Hat you could purchase in bookstores (?).

Received my mid-2020 pinebook pro early today, it was supposed to arrive monday.  The build quality definitely meets expectations, the keyboard feels great and I'll have to get used to dealing with the multitouch trackpad.  I find them annoying because they have to be big and my palms beneath my thumbs sometimes hit them so I always turn things off.  I'm not enjoying the Manjaro experience on that level so I'll be installing something with MATE soon.

Everything has worked as expected out of the box, the screen is fitted well and has no obvious dead pixels, and I have not seen any physical defects reported with the early-2020 COVID models.  Hopefully everyone else sees the same quality.
One actual concern which many might not notice, I have another laptop with a metal case which is plugged in and grounded.  I have my pinebook closed at the moment but plugged in to the power charger and I'm resting my arm on it, and i am definitely conducting some small but noticeable amount of electricity between the two.  It stopped happening when I unplugged the charger from the pinebook.
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My Pinebook Pro was supposed to arrive to my address in Oshawa, Ontario tomorrow by DHL, but it arrived today. It came with a 90% charge and was undamaged. First impressions, it's flawless. Love the non-glare screen. Love the ANSI keyboard. I am a Ubuntu and Raspbian user, but I am suitably impressed with the polished, professional look of Manjaro. I'm making this post from Antithesis. Can't wait to dig in!
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Okay, time for some constructive feedback: I really like Manjaro, but pine-T needs to open a terminal. Also, why is there top but no htop? Of course I installed htop, and that's when I discovered I had six cores in this thing. Then I realized there are two CPU's; one with two cores, the other with four. The Pinebook Pro is a beast in the world of ARM, and I believe it's the future. I can't wait to see how this develops. But pine-T needs to open a Konsole.
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(08-31-2020, 02:33 PM)PaulQ Wrote: Okay, time for some constructive feedback: I really like Manjaro, but pine-T needs to open a terminal. Also, why is there top but no htop? Of course I installed htop, and that's when I discovered I had six cores in this thing. Then I realized there are two CPU's; one with two cores, the other with four. The Pinebook Pro is a beast in the world of ARM, and I believe it's the future. I can't wait to see how this develops. But pine-T needs to open a Konsole.
I got my Pinebook Pro 2 hours ago. Two days before I was expecting it.

Everything I was expecting, and more Smile

Re: pine-T to open Konsole. I couldn't get pine-T, or my usual shortcut: Ctrl-Alt-T to open Konsole. I run Manjaro daily on about 4 or 5 computers, so I am accustomed to tinkering with KDE settings frequently.

Maybe someone will chime in with a way to get your preferred shortcut to work.

I installed Gimp, Inkscape, IntelliJ IDEA, pinta and my Wacom tablet. Also Vivaldi browser. This little machine is amazing.

Thank you Pine64!!!

Dallas
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these shortcuts are configurable...

pine+enter is what launches a console for me on sway (alacritty).
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