After discontinuing its first open-source tablet, Pine64 is back for round two. The company teased its upcoming PineTab2 during an end-of-year update. Like all Pine64 devices, the PineTab2 is intended for hackers, hobbyists, and programmers—it’s easy to modify and repair, just like the PinePhone.
The original PineTab was abandoned due to supply chain shortages. Now that things are kinda sorta returning to normal, Pine64 can build and sell tablets again, hence the reason for this product’s return.
Thankfully, the PineTab2 looks a lot more modern than its predecessor. It uses a new backlit keyboard case (which is included with the device) and offers USB-C charging, which the previous device lacked. The keyboard reminds me of Logitech’s Combo Touch for the iPad, as it’s backlit, has an integrated kickstand, and doubles as a protective case. (By the way, custom firmware made for the PineBook Pro keyboard will work on this tablet’s keyboard.)
The tablet’s chassis is now made of metal, which is a huge upgrade from the plastic body of the original PineTab. Still, you can open this tablet’s chassis by undoing a few clips, which is pretty handy.
Spec-wise, we’re looking at a Rockchip RK3566 SoC, which Pine64 also uses in its PineBook Pro laptop. Customers can choose between 4GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB configurations for RAM and flash storage, and the device features both a 2MP selfie camera and 5MP rear camera.
The PineTab2 uses a single USB-C port for charging, though it also has a USB-C 3.0 data port. There’s also a headphone jack and microSD slot. Oh, and Pine64 notes that the PCIE is exposed on this device’s PCB—good luck finding any accessories that fit in the 9mm-thick chassis, though.
Other specs are unknown. This tablet is still a work in progress, and Pine64 hasn’t decided on all the components. Pine64 aims to release the PineTab2 sometime after the Lunar New Year, which is January 22rd of 2023.
The original PineTab was a bit niche, as most tinkerers seem to prefer a laptop like the PineBook. Still, it generated a bit of hype, and some people loved the humble device. I’m interested to see if the PineTab2 can reach a wider audience.
Source: Pine64 via NotebookCheck