A new mini-laptop is headed to Japan soon. The NANOTE features a 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display, a 360-degree hinge, and a QWERTY keyboard.
But the most impressive thing about this little computer is its price tag — it’ll be available starting May 1st for 19,800 yen, or about $185. That makes this one of the most affordable mini-laptops to date.
The specs… are rather underwhelming. But what do you expect from a sub-$200 computer?
The NANOTE features an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage.
It has a micro HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card reader, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB Type-C port that can be used for data and/or charging the little laptop’s 5,000 mAh battery.
Other features include a 0.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The laptop measures 181mm x 113.6mm x 19.6mm (7.1″ x 4.5″ x 0.8″) and weighs 520 grams (1.1 pounds).
The handheld computer has a keyboard that’s just barely large enough for touch-typing, but there’s not enough room for a full-sized trackpad, so it has an optical touch sensor instead.
The NANOTE comes from a company called Pan Pacific International Holdings, which was formerly known as Don Quijote Holdings, and it will be available in Japan in May from Don Quijote-affiliated stores. There’s no word on whether this model will be available outside of Japan anytime soon. But it does seem like the latest data point in a trend.
Over the past few years there’s been a renaissance in the mini-laptop space, largely driven by Chinese PC makers GPD and One Netbook. But while those two companies continue to crank out new models with additional features and better specs, we’ve also seen starting prices get higher and higher.
And that leaves some interesting space for competitors in the entry-level space.
Last year a company called Peakago ran a crowdfunding campaign for a similar mini-laptop with comparable specs and design, and a sub-$300 price tag. The demo unit the company sent me has an Atom x5-Z8350 processor and feels disappointingly sluggish, but I was told to put my review on hold while they updated the processor… I’m still waiting to see if that happens (as are backers of the crowdfunding campaign).
Earlier this month another Japanese company introduced the MAL-FWTVPCM1 8 inch mini-laptop with a $410 – $550 price tag.
And now we have the NANOTE, which appears to be the cheapest mini-laptop to date. While it has the same slow processor as the Peakago (and the first-gen One Netbook One Mix Yoga), it’s probably easier to justify sluggish performance in a multi-function handheld computer/laptop/tablet that sells for under $200.
via PC Watch