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PineNote: E-Ink Linux Tablet Announced by PINE64

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In the current monthly report from Pine64 , community manager Lukasz Erecinski presents the PineNote, an e-ink tablet that runs Linux called PineNote that was in great demand in the past. It is based on the Quartz64 SBC , both share the Rockchip RK3566 quad-core ARM Cortex A55 64-bit processor.

Well equipped

In addition, the PineNote is equipped with 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM and 128 GB eMMC main memory. The frame is made of an aluminium alloy while the back has a non-slip plastic surface. The front is covered with scratch-resistant and anti-glare tempered glass, the total thickness of the device is 7mm. The PineNote is also equipped with two microphones, two speakers and a USB-C port for data transfer, an external keyboard and fast charging, as well as 5Ghz AC WLAN.

The 10.3 inch (approx. 26 cm) 3: 4 panel at the heart of the PineNote has a resolution of 1404 × 1872 (227 DPI) and can display 16 shades of gray. It has front lighting with a setting from cool (white) to warm (amber) light. The E-Ink panel has a capacitive glass layer for finger input and an electromagnetic resonance layer (EMR) from Wacom for pen input.

Pinenote PCB Layout

Initially only interesting for developers

The PineNote is to be offered in the first batch as an “Early Adopter Edition” for USD 399 in the course of the year. An EMR pen and a magnetic cover are included in the price. In later editions, these accessories will be sold separately. The first batch will probably be delivered with Manjaro and a BSP kernel 4.19 , as the changes required for pen input will not yet be in the mainline kernel at this point. Plasma Mobile or a plasma adapted for pen input are being discussed as a surface.

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Since E-Ink technology is completely new territory for Pine64, Erecinski expects a longer development phase before the device becomes interesting for end-users. How far the software will be in the “Early Adopter Edition” this year is not yet known. Erecinski points out that the device may not even be able to boot into graphical mode. The PineNote is for the time being a pure developer device.

Versatile in use

Once the device has been delivered to the end-user, Pine64 sees it being used, among other things, for reading books, comics, sketching and taking notes, surfing the Internet and also with an external keyboard for productive, eye-friendly work in LibreOffice or elsewhere.

Other topics in the new report include the that is now in production keyboard for the PinePhone and news about the Pinebook Pro and the PineTime Smartwatch.

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