The world’s first RISC-V tablet has gone on sale.
Fresh from giving us affordable entry to the exciting world of RISC-V with their new single-board computers, Pine64 has announced the PineTab-V, a tablet powered by the FOSS-friendly RISC-V architecture.
The PineTab-V was announced on April 1 in a post on the Pine64 blog that featured a lot of wordplay and unicorn references (!). Thus some folks (myself included) assumed the whole thing was an April fools’ prank.
But it’s not.
The PineTab-V is real and it’s available to order right now.
PineTab-V – ‘Vaguely Functional’
The PineTab-V is virtually identical to the PineTab 2.
It’s made out of the components — case, display, RAM, storage, etc – as the new PineTab 2, save for two differences: 1) the PineTab-V is housed in a black case, and 2) it uses a RISC-V JH7110 SoC (which is also used in Pine64’s new Star64 boards).
This means 4x SiFive U74 64-bit RISC-V cores @ 1.5GHz, and Imagination BXE-2-32 graphics processor. Two models are available: one with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, and one with 8GB RAM and 128GB eMMC.
But hardware is only one part of the equation.
Bring up for Linux on RISC-V is, in general, formative. Anyone interested in buying the PineTab-V needs to be aware that the device is only “vaguely functional” at launch — if that! — and software development knowledge is almost a prerequisite.
“While it walks and quacks like PineTab2, it sure as heck isn’t an Arm machine. You are basically buying into an idea, a vision, a dream. Indeed, unlike its Arm brethren it doesn’t even boot Linux as of today — at least not as far as I know,” cautions Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski.
“Of you are in the market for an open, high-quality and sexy looking tablet that doesn’t work since the software for it is a-way-of from pre-Alpha then you’ll be thrilled to know we’ve got you covered!”
The PineTab-V is available to order from the Pine64 store right now, priced from $159. Shipping is estimated to begin in May 2023.