With Quarta announcing plans to shoehorn Windows CE onto netbooks including the Acer Aspire one and Lenovo IdeaPad S9, I decided it was time for another look at a netbook that’s actually designed to run Windows CE. The 3K Razorbook 400 (which goes by many different names in many different countries) is a tiny little notebook, even by netbook standards, with a 7 inch screen, a 400MHz CPU, and 4GB of SSD. While most models currently run a custom version of Linux, 3K plans to release a model running Windows CE soon.

You can check out a video of a 3K employee demonstrating the device after the break.

While Windows CE may not be able to run all the programs that work with Linux or Windows XP, it is a capable little operating system that has the basic look and feel of Windows. It’s got a start menu, taskbar, and system tray. It boots in 10 to 20 seconds. And the version that will ship with the Razorbook 400 will have viewers for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, although you’ll probably want to invest in sometihng like SoftMaker Office if you want a full fledged office suite that lets you edit and create documents. 

Perhaps most importantly, the version of Internet Explorer that comes with the Razorbook supports Flash 9 content, which means you can watch most online video and interact with other web sites. The biggest problem I’d run into with prior handheld computers running Windows CE was that the web browsers were next to useless. The other problem was that the operating systems were rarely upgradeable. I have no expectation that you’ll be able to upgrade the Razorbook 400 from Windows CE 6.0 to Windows CE 7.0 when it becomes available.

But because there’s already at least one Linux distro designed for this hardware and a group of dedicated hackers working on developing more software for it, if you get tired of Windows CE or find that it’s outdated in a year or two, perhaps you’ll be able to change the OS.

thanks Steve!

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4 replies on “3K Razorbook 400 running Windows CE – Video”

  1. As we smart phone and pocket PC users know, there are thousands of amazing Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.0 programs available at places like handango.com, assuming they’re compatible with the OSs labeled simply Windows CE, which I think they are.

    Programs like SPB Pocket Plus, SKTools, and TomeRaider make these devices seem superior to the big boys in many ways.

    As you say, the mobile Internet Explorer is something of a bottleneck, but more and more sites have mobile gateways now. For example, when on the road, I can easily transfer money from one account to another at my local credit union, with my HP iPAQ, and spend it immediately.

    The demise of SmartPhone and Pocket PC magazine is a crushing blow this month–it has been a veritable encyclopedia for this platform, and it will be interesting to see if anything steps up to take its place. (Its website is still available.)

    1. Thing is, it’s a mips cpu, and the standard for sevral years has been ARM based cpu’s

      Usaully new or newer windows ce software is only compiled for ARM leaving sh3/sh4/mips & x86 based windows ce devices out in the cold.

      Mips seems to be making a comeback though from what i’ve seen browsing around, atleast in linux, not sure about ce

      I purchase a razorbook 400 linux, after pre ordering waiting for the windows ce one & it kept getting it’s release delayed.

      It seems to run better than any windows ce device i’ve had when it comes to multi tasking, last night, i was listining to mp3’s, on irc chat, had the web browser and a messenger open, only heard one little skip.. and no freeze.

      I’ll will also eventully be getting a windows ce one to compare.

      1. Try searching for software for the Casiopeia. It was a MIPS based handheld. Maybe some of those programs will run.

      2. Steve, thanks for the information. I had no idea there was a compatibility problem with the processors. I hope you’ll post about interesting software you find for the linux and CE versions, in case I decide to buy one of these.

        And, Bolo, thanks for the tip.

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