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Chinese supplier offers 'cheapest' Linux laptop

Got £111 to spare for an Eee PC clone?

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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 Alpha 400

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.

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