tater1337
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Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:24 am

I have 3 netbooks that are collecting dust due to poor performance.

should I try gutting them and shoehorning a Pi 4 or just send them off to recycling and get a pi-top?

no, installing *nix does NOT make netbooks faster (with 3 i can side by side and see the OS is not an issue)(SSDs do, but not by much)


pi-top looks a little big compared to a netbook, and i like the form factor of the netbooks

klricks
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:24 am

If your intent is to connect the RPi directly to the raw netbook screen, keyboard etc,.... then that is not generally feasible. If successful you would end up with something much larger and cumbersome than you are thinking.

If you get Pi-Top then I would first verify that it works with a RPi4 & Buster.
Unless specified otherwise my response is based on the latest and fully updated Raspbian Buster w/ Desktop OS.

k-pi
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 am

no, installing *nix does NOT make netbooks faster
Have you tried them running from ram, speeds them up no end - take a look at SliTaz & Tiny Core - small fast distros - they should bring them back to life - or at least sell them off, or give them away. 8-)

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recantha2
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am

pi-top laptop v2 (which they've clumsily renamed pi-top[3] is not compatible with the Pi 4 - it just doesn't connect properly because of the change of HDMI port. However, pi-top[4] is on Kickstarter today at 4pm (BST) which looks like it has a screen/keyboard solution for the Pi.
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jjk9
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:57 am

To use the screen you would need a lcd controller board and either an extra power supply or create some way to power both. I have no idea how to use the keyboard, I cant find anything after a quick search. but it would probably be easier to replace is with a usb or wireless one. Finally have you seen how tall the Pi is with the USB ports and GPIO pins? that is not going to fit neatly into any netbook case without major modification and removing of parts.

The other option I can find is for the older Pi's so I don't know if it will work on this one, is to connect the Pi to your netbook using a Ethernet cable and setup a remote desktop. No idea how to do this, how it runs or if it's worth it over installing a light version of Linux on the netbook instead.

tater1337
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:19 pm

k-pi wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:20 am
no, installing *nix does NOT make netbooks faster
Have you tried them running from ram, speeds them up no end - take a look at SliTaz & Tiny Core - small fast distros - they should bring them back to life - or at least sell them off, or give them away. 8-)
they live just fine, just the *nix does not seem to improve their speed, and it doesnt seem to be a disk bottelneck either (althought the SSD'ed one runs slightly faster, but not enough)

tater1337
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:20 pm

OH! i forgot to ask the most important question

is the Pi 4 faster than the atom machines?

salesman-speak says yes, but I havent seen real benchmarks against hardware yet (too early?)

probably gonna have to fine some useless task for the netbooks, like IP webcam hosts (that will end up costing more than a wyze cam)

then build a laptop around it, since the more I look at the pi-top, the less I like it. maybe the nexdock

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hardwaremack-orginal
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:32 pm

I agree all of the solutions that integrate a Pi computer are not great or too costly to make sense.

The official Screen for 60 dollars. I guess that is something.
Resolution is rather low... though the touch screen aspect does work pretty great!.
and the power consumption is very reasonable. I think i was able to run my 3B+ / Raspberry Pi Screen wireless mouse and keyboard for a little over an hour from one 2400ma 18650, witch was not that bad.

I am anxiously awaiting the next thing, maybe grow the screen to 11" 1440 x 900 pixels
add some speakers?

maybe include a cute stand / foot
maybe include the ability to pop in 18650's?

how about a small fan and support for the PI4B.

ddurdle
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:29 pm

recantha2 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am
pi-top laptop v2 (which they've clumsily renamed pi-top[3] is not compatible with the Pi 4 - it just doesn't connect properly because of the change of HDMI port. However, pi-top[4] is on Kickstarter today at 4pm (BST) which looks like it has a screen/keyboard solution for the Pi.
Are you talking with experience or just guessing? Because you know they have adapters that convert HDMI adapter types. If you are basing your "screen won't connect" based on the fact the pi-top has a full size HDMI, you can use a converter adapter to line up with the micro hdmi on the pi 4. A more likely "show stopper" would be whether the pi top circuit board can deliver the required amperage for the pi 4. Again here, you would need to place in a micro usb to usb c adapter.

I have a pi 4 on the way, but it might be some time before I can validate, as I won't have access to a micro usb to usb c for some time.

trejan
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:41 pm

ddurdle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:29 pm
Are you talking with experience or just guessing? Because you know they have adapters that convert HDMI adapter types. If you are basing your "screen won't connect" based on the fact the pi-top has a full size HDMI, you can use a converter adapter to line up with the micro hdmi on the pi 4. A more likely "show stopper" would be whether the pi top circuit board can deliver the required amperage for the pi 4. Again here, you would need to place in a micro usb to usb c adapter.
Adapters won't work properly. Look at https://accounts.pi-top.com/static/pi-t ... a9b0d0.jpg The RPi is fitted against the pi-top PCB which has the HDMI and headphone plugs all mounted on the PCB itself. The PCB does slide to the right a small distance but this is to allow you to plug it into the RPi. You might be able to kludge it but you have very little space to do so.

The original pi-top had short wires going from their PCB to the RPi so you would be able to use an adapter but it was changed on the pi-top[3].
Last edited by trejan on Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ddurdle
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:26 pm

Just to clarify, I have the pi top original. I wasn't aware they actually revamped how it connects in the revised version.

Does that connection from the top on the revised version integrate a heat sink? Can't really tell from the photo. That could be another showstopper if it doesn't. I'm intending on installing an active cooling fan on top of my pi 4. I'll have enough coverage on my original pi top. I'm not actually using the sliding acrylic either.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:58 pm

tater1337 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:24 am
...
no, installing *nix does NOT make netbooks faster (with 3 i can side by side and see the OS is not an issue)(SSDs do, but not by much)
That's odd. I have configured many old Netbooks with Linux and found their performance much better than whatever version of Windows they came with (and better than most Pi models).

pi-top looks a little big compared to a netbook, and i like the form factor of the netbooks
What is your goal? Do you want a Pi based laptop, or just a portable Pi? Or do you just want a decent portable computer? For the price of a Pi-Top you could get a pretty nice Chromebook (mine is way faster than a Pi4).

Trying to integrate a Pi into an existing laptop would be exceedingly difficult. It might be possible to re-use the screen, but you would need an LCD controller board to connect them (most of which are larger than the Pi itself). There's a thread here on the forums about the development of an LVDS HAT that might be useful.

Explaining exactly what you want will help you get better answers.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

trejan
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:02 pm

ddurdle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:26 pm
Does that connection from the top on the revised version integrate a heat sink? Can't really tell from the photo.
It is a combined heatsink + GPIO connection. I thought it powered the RPi via the micro USB but I was remembering wrong. It does it all through that heatsink/GPIO bridge piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZkcKfjRbkM is a video of somebody assembling a pi-top[3] and it shows how the USB connection is made along with GPIO, HDMI and headphone output.

nmrider66
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:07 pm

I have a Gateway LT4010u netbook with 1 GB of ram and windows 7 starter installed. It has almost no free memory once windows boots so its not very usable. I shrank the windows partition and installed Debian Stretch with the Rpi desktop in the free space. Debian manages the memory much better than windows and the netbook is much more usable. Chromium works for most of the web pages I need and VLC plays my music. Works for me when I need a portable computer to go. Its not as fast as my Pi3B+ though.

ddurdle
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:03 pm

follow-up:

My Pi4 4GB arrived today. I thought I'd have an issue with the USB-C being that I forgot to order one of the micro-USB to USB-C adapters, and hearing about the nightmare around cabling, I was convinced I'd have an issue with the few USB-C cables I have.

Turns out things worked well. Swapped in the board into the pi top original. With a USB to USB-C cable + regular HDMI to micro HDMI adapter in place, everything worked nice. No power issues with the pi-top battery. The unit works really fast, compared to the Pi 2 it replaces. Surfing the internet is instantaneous now.

The only issue I had was that I needed to re-image the raspbian microsd. I had already downloaded and switched the microsd to the Raspbian Debian Buster build, that supports the Pi4, but I guess once you've boot up and setup the install to a Pi 2, you can't then reuse the same install on a Pi4. All I got was the splash screens and then just a black screen when the desktop should have loaded. It was a new build just started last week, so I didn't mind restarting from scratch. Anyone planning to do an upgrade for their Pi Top to be prepared to re-image even if you are already updated to the latest Raspbian Debian Buster.

ddurdle
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:16 pm

trejan wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:02 pm
ddurdle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:26 pm
Does that connection from the top on the revised version integrate a heat sink? Can't really tell from the photo.
It is a combined heatsink + GPIO connection. I thought it powered the RPi via the micro USB but I was remembering wrong. It does it all through that heatsink/GPIO bridge piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZkcKfjRbkM is a video of somebody assembling a pi-top[3] and it shows how the USB connection is made along with GPIO, HDMI and headphone output.
Thanks for sharing. The original pi top's design that uses cables for the hookup instead of a fixed interface board definitely was one of the advantages it had (even though it was flawed in my other ways -- battery bug in original release units that would allow the battery to completely drain-and-die, hing issues, keyboard connect design flaw, etc).

In the end, the original pi top's design for swapping in pi boards (or even non-pi boards) prove's one of the principal design features. Too bad it would be nearly impossible to find replacement parts if one ever needed them.

trejan
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:22 pm

ddurdle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:03 pm
I had already downloaded and switched the microsd to the Raspbian Debian Buster build, that supports the Pi4, but I guess once you've boot up and setup the install to a Pi 2, you can't then reuse the same install on a Pi4. All I got was the splash screens and then just a black screen when the desktop should have loaded. It was a new build just started last week, so I didn't mind restarting from scratch. Anyone planning to do an upgrade for their Pi Top to be prepared to re-image even if you are already updated to the latest Raspbian Debian Buster.
Not sure what is going on here. Nothing in stock Raspbian should be tailoring the install for a specific model of Pi. I've moved Buster installs from older Pi boards to a 4 and not had any problems.

nagymancs
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Re: Pi 4 + netbook or just get a pi-top?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:58 pm

ddurdle wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:03 pm
follow-up:

My Pi4 4GB arrived today. I thought I'd have an issue with the USB-C being that I forgot to order one of the micro-USB to USB-C adapters, and hearing about the nightmare around cabling, I was convinced I'd have an issue with the few USB-C cables I have.

Turns out things worked well. Swapped in the board into the pi top original. With a USB to USB-C cable + regular HDMI to micro HDMI adapter in place, everything worked nice. No power issues with the pi-top battery. The unit works really fast, compared to the Pi 2 it replaces. Surfing the internet is instantaneous now.

The only issue I had was that I needed to re-image the raspbian microsd. I had already downloaded and switched the microsd to the Raspbian Debian Buster build, that supports the Pi4, but I guess once you've boot up and setup the install to a Pi 2, you can't then reuse the same install on a Pi4. All I got was the splash screens and then just a black screen when the desktop should have loaded. It was a new build just started last week, so I didn't mind restarting from scratch. Anyone planning to do an upgrade for their Pi Top to be prepared to re-image even if you are already updated to the latest Raspbian Debian Buster.
can you please post pictures and links how your modified setup looks like! I was eagerly awaiting a newer pi to make the original concept more nimble.

Do you not have thermal issues? or how did you solve the heating of the beefier cpu?

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