Chinese supplier offers 'cheapest' Linux laptop
Got £111 to spare for an Eee PC clone?
Linux-based sub-notebook for $219 (£111/€139), anyone? That's what Hong Kong-based Bestlink is currently offering - if you're prepared to buy in bulk.
Dubbed the Alpha 400, the Eee PC-like machine sports a 7in, 800 x 480 display but is based not on an x86 processor but a 400MHz, 32-bit XBurst chip. It's got 128MB of memory and 1GB of Flash storage.
Bestlink's Alpha 400: Eee beater?
It has a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port, an SDHC card reader and a pair of USB 2.0 ports - one of which can take the bundled optional Wi-Fi dongle. Depending on which version of the manufacturer's spec you read, there may be a third USB port.
The feature list also mentions optional CDMA and GPRS connectivity, and we suspect that, like Wi-Fi comes from add-on devices.
The machine weighs just 700g and measures 21.2 x 14.2 x 3.3cm. It's apparently available in a choice of colours: red, blue, green, salmon and black. There's no indication what the laptop's battery life is, but it comes with office and comms software a-plenty, Bestlink's site indicates.
Bestlink wants $219 for the Alpha 400, but that's before shipping. The base price works out as £111 - which is the cheapest Linux sub-laptop we've seen apart from Elonex's promised £99 machine, though that's not actually available yet and won't be until next month.
When you study the supplier's web-pages, it becomes apparent that it is a MIPS-32 clone, much like the Longsoon processor used in the Dutch mini-laptop ("Jizus" or some such name) mentioned here some weeks ago.
So, Steve, no it won't be able to run x86 (except in emulation).
Good Lord! (no major religion should be implied by this subject heading)
Sod the "no wifi, no bird, no 3G, no performance" - this is a good way forward!
Talk about getting the moon on a stick! The price alone is great for us "wearable" geeks that like to strip down sub-laptops to secrete around a piece of clothing. At this price, we can do loads!
As for performance concerns - fella! It's a sub-laptop; what are you truly expecting?? To be able to play Crisis??! Come on, i still have my 400mhz that runs lilke a dream. Runs films, music, word processing, internet and a couple of games easily. Just because msot laptops have dual core processors does not mean that the user will actually need to use it!
Chinese bird would be good for marketing!
...to fit between Paris' whatsits