No gimmicks included. No rebates. No service plans to sign up for. While it is not a barn-burner, it does deliver the basics, and sometimes that is all that is needed.
Cherrypal has introduced what it claims is the world’s “greenest” and first sub-$100 “laptop computer “. Called “Africa“, the device is aimed at developing countries and achieves its low price by using cell phone-like internal specifications.
Features include a 7-inch 800×480 display, a 400MHz processor, 256MB of DDR RAM, 2GB of flash storage, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, one USB 2.0 and two USB 1.1 ports, and either Linux or Windows CE. The company says the Africa PC can last about four hours on the included Lithium battery.
It certainly meets the cost objective of the OLPC project, though it might not be great for multimedia, it can do all the basics. Perhaps with an innovative method of software distribution (most likely on thumbdrives) it could make for a real solution where the OLPC failed.
It could also be a great thing for the children in America, and Europe, and Asia, and everywhere else there are children without silver spoons in their mouths
Another — $290 pricier — system brings a more common feature-set to the table. The “Bing” uses a 13.3-inch 1024×600 display, a 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB HDD, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, 802.11g Wi-Fi, a card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, and Windows XP. Both systems are currently available through Cherrypal’s online store.
While this one might be fuller featured, the less featured one is the breakthrough that many will find the most useful. It may be the tool to gain universal literacy.