Media Server for 4k monitor?
#1
Forgive me if I seem ignorant.  I am.  I never heard of Pine until two days ago.

I decided to buy a 43-inch class 4K monitor to get the benefit of a tiling window manager.  Secondary use as a large media monitor that doesn't, as far as I know, watch me watch it with it's own camera didn't bother me either. 

Until less than a week ago, I was thinking about using a Raspberry Pi 4 to playback media stored on an external USB drive when not using my main laptop.  Then I heard about the Pine64.  Researching that led me to me the Pine Pro Laptop just a few minutes ago.  I've barely begun to look into it.

But the first thought that occurs to me is; wouldn't it be better to use a Pine Pro Laptop in the role of media player/secondary laptop and reap the rewards of improvements over time?   I have no interest in Amazon Prime streaming video, NetFlix, Hula, ad nauseum.  I don't use them.  I don't want to use them.  I do not intend to connect this application to any network.

I also have friend who is talking about going back to college within the next six months or year.  Wouldn't the Pine Pro be a great option for note taking, paper writing, web surfing, etc?  I'm assuming that if it'll run YouTube videos and Doom like I've seen in reviews it will run the full LibreOffice suite without a hiccup. And according to the reviews, as of November 2019, there are still some issues with web browsing like sound in Firefox or no sound in Firefox and some things working better in Chrome or Chromium than FF, etc; but those problems are entirely software-related and being fixed even now as more developers support the Pine Pro.

So . . . what do you think?  Media player? Yes or no.  Student's only computer?  Yes or no.  (By the way, this student is not an engineering, math or science major; more likely psychology, sociology or some other soft "science".  You know, the pretend "sciences".   Big Grin )

Also, any recommendations for a reasonably priced 43-inch class 4k monitor would be appreciated as well.  The LG 43UD79-B has a ton of really good reviews, but a disturbing number of more recent reviews complaining of bad QC.  The Philips BDM4350UC, AOC U4308V, Acer ET430K, Acer DM431K have similar mixed reviews and all of them seem to be several years old with limited connectivity options that several reviewers pointed out.
#2
Fair warning, this laptop is not a true substitute for a chromebook. The OS options right now all have some limitations and quirks. Folks like MrFixIt do sterling work (much appreciated), but the scale of Raspeberry Pi's popularity means the OS and its software are very stable relative to Pinebook Pro (PBP).

That warning aside, if you or the recipient are comfortable with Linux, I don't see why you couldn't use the laptop as a media server. My feeling is you would be better served by one of the other pine products if that's your main use case; probably a single board computer of some kind.
For mixed usage, I think the PBP is great. I personally have used the LibreOffice install that comes with MrFixIt's default OS to do some quick work from home and it performed OK. I bought a generic combination USB-C hub with HDMI and USB-A and it works great for a second display. Given it's Linux, I was a little surprise when I plugged the hub and HDMI in and the second screen immediately worked. I'd put aside an hour for debugging.


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