Jedinovice wrote:Given the Pinebook is, essentially, no more than a more capable Chromebook and Chromebooks have been a super best seller for years now - it's going to be a winner and Joe Public will buy the "Pinebook ][" because it will be DIRT CHEAP and do all the things 90% of the population actually want a laptop to do... which is very little actually.
I humbly disagree.
That's your right but you are clearly not understanding the nature or significance of the Pinebook.
PLease be careful about what I actually wrote. I did NOT say that the Pinebook ITSELF would be the ARM/Linux laptop. I stated explicitly that it was NOT! I said it was the pioneer - the geek machine frm which the true ARM/Linux laptop would appear! We're not there yet! It just a key step along the road. I am telling you now, giving the HUGE demand there has been for the Pinebook, that the techies are out there tinkering, compiling and working to get those "missing apps" onto the Pinebook. Indeed, that process is well underway for the Pi and the Pinebook is really just a laptop Pi!
The Altair 8800 was not a great machine but it was a pioneer. It died out but it created legacy that was passed onto more successful machines.
In regards to the OS - sure you can install your own OS. Who says you cannot. I have not read anything to contrary. I've read every review you've linked to before. I know the data. The Pinebook is based on the Pine64 Raspberry Pi 'clone' where you can install any ARM based O/S you like. Windows 10S is built to run on ARM and is slanted to replace Win32 Windows. Only... Microsoft is going to have a hell of a job porting apps over to Windos 10S and ARM based Pi is well, well ahead!
Indeed, note, in regards to O/S, Ubuntu supports ARM. Here: from the FOSS review, I quote; "Upon first powering on the unit, you’ll see that it is running Ubuntu, which isn’t a surprise. Given the particularly slim specifications, the PINEBOOK team opted for the MATE variant of Ubuntu."
So, from the start the user gets a fully supported, mainstream Linux distro with access to key apps. You can install and backup any O/S you like. The Pinebook is virtually a laptop casing to the Pine64 and you can do all that on a Pine64 already.
Sure, the Pinebook will not run Mint but Mint is not Linux. Of course Pinebook based laptops are going to have to run with different, ARM based variants of Linux but that's already the case with the Raspberry Pi which has also been a smash hit and spawned masses of successful copies. Indeed, it could be argued that we already back in the 8 bit pioneering world of development with the Pi with teens coding and compiling as I type!
Yes, we are going to have to work with ARM based distros vs X86 distros and Mint is firmly x86 and will be, I am sure, for a very long time. Doesn't stop other distros emerging and/or growing from Raspberry Pi.
In terms of software... Note, as I say, that we know that Joe Public does not want a lot in terms of software. My wife uses about four apps. That's it. She uses them a lot mind, but we're only talking a browser, wordprocessor, media player... er, probably it. Throw those on a cheapo laptop and you have a winner! I can also tell you that outside of games, that's probably it for 80% of the users I know. OK, let's add in a PDF reader but they are common in ARM distros already.
But not only that... The Pinebook has not been developed in a vacuum. It has been built up on the basis of existing Pi hardware and software. Loads of people, including young children, are pumping out code on those little machines! Seriously! And, because Linux is open source, the source for all those lovely x86 apps, ready to be ported to ARM, already exists and is, er, open for compiling. Yes, I know there's more to getting an app ported to new hardware beyond just re-compiling but it's a HUGE head start! The techies who want the ARM/Linux laptop to fly are going to be working hard to make it happen and now they have the tools!
As it is, I investigated how much S/W is actually available for ARM in Linux and it exceeded my expectations! Heck, you can already load up A Raspberry Pi (or Pine64) and install ALL the most essential apps and run - including browsers and Libreoffice.
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ca ... r-work-pc/
The Pinebook was the next logical step from the Pi. Note that the CPU's are only going to get faster while Linux's app footprint will remain small, unlike Windows which exists to force you to buy new hardware as it all consumes more resources.
In regards to the Chromebook - the Google Chrome apps are all, er, online. In order to review student essays I had had to get students to log onto Google docs on my Linux laptop and load up their data. If you can run up a browser you can access Google apps. So if the user wants to use Google apps they can on the Pinebook but they will ALSO be able to run locally installed Linux apps! Win-win-win!
In terms of appeal, consider also the following:
LOADS of kids are being taught technology on Pi's in schools! Many are coding and even creating with Pi's at home. I was staggered by the appeal of Pi's to young minds. Arguably I should not have been as it those young minds that were hacking around with ZX81's back in the days but there you go. We have a new generation that are not being reared solely on Windows.
In fact, loads of schools have also standardized on Chromebooks. So, the jump from a Chromebook to a Pinebook][ will hardly be the huge leap it would be the Windows-only generation. Yes, there is a LOT of legacy Widows lock in in industry and will be fore years and years but, as I say, certainly for home use, the Pinebook ][ I am convinced will be a winner and spawn other ARM/Linux laptops.
Add to that limited funds for students at college and the need for portability and battery life over raw power and the Pinebook, in principle, becomes the logical choice. Heck, by going Linux I saved a fortune on hardware and software for my business start up this year!
Now note carefully what I say here: The appeal of ARM and Pinebook][ will not be IMMEDIATE. Like the original 8 bit machines it will be techies who buy them at first and tinker. But then it will spread.
You wait and see.
Based on history, I would say we have another two years before the hardware/software breakthrough really occurs but the essential work is taking place now and the tools needed to make the mass market ARM/Linux are in place now!
Besides, frankly, who says the whole world has to be x86? Frankly, only legacy. Microsoft has seen the future and produced Windows 10S to... run on ARM.
I stand by my prediction.