Pine64, a maker of single board computers, is once again shipping its Arm-based Rockchip RK3399 SoC 14-inch laptops after lengthy production and shipping delays due to COVID-19 restrictions in China's manufacturing hubs.
Pinebook Pro laptops are shipping again but only the model with the US keyboards (ANSI) while the laptop with UK (ISO) keyboard remains out of stock. Also, Pine64 says this is a "limited run" of the 14-inch display Pinebook Pro due to the production and supply woes it has weathered in China over the past year.
"The Pinebook Pro is once again available for purchase. I know that many of you have been waiting for the Pinebook Pro to make a return, so if you've been waiting to pick up a unit then now is your chance," Pine64's Lukasz Erecinski wrote in a latest update.
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The Pine64 project first announced the then-$200 Pinebook Pro in mid-2019 as a Linux-friendly Arm-based laptop. It was updated in 2021 with better specs, but it hasn't shipped for the past year.
Pine64's manufacturing partners in China resumed Pinebook Pro production in May with an expected return to the Pine Store in early July. By then, its Pinebook Pro inventory had been depleted and it had been a year since Pine64 had been able to ship the device.
Erecinski said the hardware remains largely unchanged from the 2021 version of the laptop.
"This includes the PCBs, keyboards, metal and plastic parts, etc. For those who haven't followed the Pinebook Pro production hurdles over the past months: the main reason for production stalling was our inability to acquire reasonably priced and vendor-insured high-grade IPS panels. We did, however, already have much of the remaining parts lined up and ready to go. The new panel ought to deliver identical performance to those used previously. The only other change concerns the battery – the new battery is marginally smaller at 9600mAh, which is 400mAh less than in previous iterations," Erecinski said.
The Pinebook Pro is aimed at a relatively narrow audience, primarily those familiar with experimenting with Arm devices likes its own Rockchip-based single board computers. In fact, it doesn't want non-developers to place orders.
"Please do not order the Pinebook Pro if you're seeking a substitute for your X86 laptop, or are just curious and you're ordering it with an intent to file a return/refund return request. These pre-orders are meant for enthusiasts familiar with the Arm architecture and interested in the PineBook Pro for this specific reason," Pine64 warns on its store page.