Pinebook Pro Initial Impressions
I've had my PineBook Pro for a few months now, and I absolutely LOVE this thing! I've never had any significant problem with it, except that it doesn't sleep when I close the lid because of the misplaced magnet, but I don't even care.  Knowing that the availability of PBP's is limited, I really hope that mine doesn't accidentally get damaged, because I would like to be able to replace it if something ever happened.  I've had a lot of fun playing around with different OS's on SD cards and I've also got to familiarize myself with Manjaro, which might have never happened if it wouldn't have come preinstalled.  I just want to sing the team at pine64's praises, thank you so much for all your hard work which all this good stuff possible for all of us enthusiasts.  I like the pinephone too, but PBP is #1.  So much fun.
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I got my PineBook Pro in the wave that shipped out in, June I think? I've used it a little sporadically only because I've been very busy with other things, but so far I've really enjoyed it. My intentions for the laptop were: (1) getting a Linux machine for playing around with and learning Linux, (2) something lightweight I could use for commuting, when I resumed commuting (this still hasn't happened because I'm still work-from-home thanks to the Delta variant for COVID), (3) something I could use primarily for programming and writing. I have a MacBook Pro with Win10 via bootcamp that's my daily driver and game machine.

My initial thoughts on the laptop are, in no particular order:

1. The laptop looks really cool. I really like the plain black look, the lack of logos, and the shiny case. The plastic feels cheap compared to the Macbook Pro, but of course it does. For $200, it's really nice.


2. Boot-up went smoothly. I had no major issues setting up Manjaro, logging in, or connecting to WiFi.

3. I'm not familiar with Manjaro so this was my first time using it. I've used Debian in a VM and Raspberry Pi OS on those devices. While I initially thought that I would rather be using Debian, Manjaro has since grown on me. From reading around, it sounds like the Manjaro installation is the optimal OS for Pinebook Pro. I've used the SD card slot to briefly boot into Kali, but otherwise haven't explored other OS's much.

4. The WiFi connection strength isn’t quite as good as my other devices at a distance (MacBook Pro, Pixel 5a, ThinkPad, iPhone 12). While those devices can usually connect to the WiFi at the opposite end of the house across three floors and multiple walls, the PineBook Pro usually can't. It's not really an issue for me here, since I usually use it much closer to the WiFi.

5. (Note: This was my experience prior to the recent update) The trackpad seems kinda off. It doesn’t always seem to register clicks, and it sometimes jumps around. Trying to right click is also tricky. I’m not a fan of using the trackpad in general and I try to use a USB mouse most of the time. (After the most recent update): It seems to be better now. However, it does seem pretty sensitive and I often inadvertently click while typing. That's been my experience with my MacBook Pro trackpad too, so I might just disable tap to click.

6. The battery indicator didn't show up on initial boot, but it has shown up on all subsequent boots. So far the battery life seems reasonable. I try not to leave the computer in sleep mode since that does seem to result in a drained battery after a while (e.g., after leaving it in sleep mode overnight).

7. I had issue trying to log in after computer was in sleep mode (lid closed). Every log in attempt resulted in a black screen, followed by the log in screen re-appearing, and trackpad clicks didn’t appear to register either, so I had to use the power button to initiate the shutdown. This occurred shortly after my first boot, and hasn't occurred since. It might have since been fixed.

8. I wish I could change the display resolution to be something that's more zoomed in, like 1280x800-ish. I find the text to be a little hard to read.

9. For a while, every time I logged in “mntray” gave me a bunch of Manjaro News notifications. This doesn't seem to happen as much now.

10.. The SD slot is neat, but the SD card slipped below the smallboard on one insert. It did feel weird going in and I shouldn’t have assumed it was going in, but it was only the second time I placed on in there so I wasn't familiar with the feel. Getting it out was tricky: tweezers didn’t quite work, but I was able to open the case and remove one of the screws from the smallboard and eventually get the SD card to drop out. I'll be more careful going forward.

11. The screws for the smallboard are a silvery metal, not the black metal I’ve seen in pictures online, and seem to be rather soft. The screw closest to the hinge could not be loosened and was very easy to strip. I don't currently plan to replace the smallboard, but it seems like it would be tricky if I did need to do that.
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