Late last year CherryPal introduced a $99 netbook, showing those OLPC folks how it’s done… cheaply. While the CherryPal Africa netbook may not have the large screen, keyboard, or durability of the OLPC XO Laptop, it only costs about half as much.

When CherryPal launched the mini-laptop last year it only ran Windows CE or Linux. Now the company has added a Google Android version to the mix. It’s called the CherryPal Asia.

The new model has a 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display, a 533MHz ARM9 ARM Cortex A9-based processor, 2GB of storage, and 256MB of RAM.It runs Google Android 1.6 and has 3 USB ports.

CherryPal will also offer a larger version with a 10.1″ display for $148.

via Android Community

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13 replies on “CherryPal gives its $99 netbook a Google Android update”

  1. OLPC offers learning software (Sugar), a school server for connectivity and backup, mesh networking, and manufacturing capacity to hundreds of thousands. Cherrypal offers none of those, and should they decide to, they would find it just as difficult as OLPC or anyone else to reach the $100 per unit price point.

  2. What I would like to know — and haven’t been yet able to find out — is whether it is possible/easy to boot with (or replace with) another (lightweight) Linux distribution. I would love to have an inexpensive wifi device with USB ports to replace my NSLU2s. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    P.S. For reasons unknown to me, all my attempts to run Gphoto2 on my NSLU2 devices with OpenWRT fail. Perhaps not all USB devices or drivers are created equally?

  3. “…it only ran Windows CE or Linux.”
    I thought that Google Android IS Linux.

    1. Google Android uses a Linux kernel, but the apps are Java-based. In other
      words, out of the box, it doesn’t run native Linux apps. You could certainly
      make the case that the difference is semantic, but I’m pretty sure Android
      isn’t what most people think of when they think of desktop Linux operating
      systems.

      1. However, JNI is supported on Android, so you can essentially run code compiled for ARM using arbitrary unix (well, linux) system calls. Huge chunks of the Android framework are essentially thin Java interface layers over various open source libraries written in C and C++. (BTW, this is a good reason NOT to root an Android device, I’ve seen some pretty scary demos of what you can do to a rooted Android phone using JNI…)

  4. That’s ARM9 not ARM Cortex A9, and that’s a pretty big difference in performance!

  5. From the website, the CherryPal Asia has VIA VT8505 SoC (system-on-a-chip) using an ARM9 core, not a Cortex-A9 core. ARM9 family cores have either ARM v4 or ARM v5 architecture, and have been used in things like the Nintendo DS, the HTC TyTn, the LG Arena, and some SqueezeBox network music players, i.e. ARM9 is pretty old and slow by today’s standards. Cortex-A8 processors are about twice as fast at the same clock rate as ARM9 processors.

  6. Interesting enough I went to their site and poked around. No way to get shipping charges without going through the personal details phase.

    But the deal breaker is the terms of sale. Horrid! Resale prohibited, prohibitions on field of endeavor of the buyer above and beyond the export restrictions that are required by US law and such a general exclusion of responsibility for ANYTHING on their part.

    Combined that noxious attitude with their right to ship anything they want so long as it, apparently solely in their view, is equal or better than the published specs means you can forget putting anything else on the unit because you won’t know what you are getting until you open the box…. at which point it is yours.

    So my verdict is pass.

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