sungworld 73

You know how excited people get when you talk about $100 laptops? Well, how about a $73 notebook computer, although I’m using the word computer generously here. Shenzhen, China based PC maker Sungworld is putting out a clamshell-style device with a 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display and a $73 price tag.

Of course, for that price you shouldn’t expect much in the performance department, and to be brutally honest, I’d be surprised if this thing is half as useful as an iPhone. The Sungword mini-laptop has a 300MHz VIA VT8500 ARM-based CPU, 128MB of RAM, 1GB of storage space, and runs Windows CE. It does have WiFi, a QWERTY keyboard and an 1800mAh battery.

The laptop weighs just about 1.5 pounds. I’d be surprised if it shows up outsided of China anytime soon, but you never know.

via Cloned in China

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11 replies on “$73 netbook shows up in China”

  1. I actually have one of theese, writing this on it now to be sure. True, it has its limitations… Windows ce6 wouldn’t be my first choice…I’d rather have DSL which I hope will soon be available for the vt8500 and bootable from the SD slot (which was used to load the ce6) But the ce6 is usable for lots of normal stuff. I use dosbox to access and write forth code, and a number of other dos applications. Pocket Notepad will run on it so you can write html and javascript.
    The biggest pain is that, at least on the unit I have, a usb mouse will work for about 30sec. before crashing the entire usb system (though the touch-pad still works?) which I think must be a problem with the driver or inturupt handling?
    The battery lasts between one and two hours(not as long as I’d expected) but recharges quickly. If anyone has a small linux distro ready to load I’d try it!

  2. Ditch WinCE, and put Debian for ARM on it. Attach a USB external hard drive, an ADSL modem/router and a HP USB inkjet printer if you like. Install some useful server applications, such as Samba, CUPs, Cherokee web server, MySQL, Dovecott and XMail.

    Hey presto, a $73 minature server. Good for a file, print, internet sharing, intranet web and mail server for up to say half a dozen desktops for a small business.

    You would get a small server for almost no outlay, use very little power, and save your small business several thousand bucks per year.

    1. Servers are often run without keyboard or display (headless) –
      You could (_should_) be able to load Debian-MIPSel on the O!Play
      and do the same thing; today; for <$100 (plus disk drive).

      Just ignore the fact that it can drive a media display, or not.
      Let it run a slide-show of your company's products on an HD
      screen in the reception area as a background task to being a server.

      I hate to use the word 'green' but your point is well taken;
      Why run a 500watt server when a 10watt server will do?

  3. I dunno, ditch WinCE and stick a penguin in the thing and it looks like it could get some work done. Yes it would be slow but it has enough flash and RAM to run Firefox and OO.o. Barely. If it could retail at or under the magic $100 mark with Linux it would probably sell a few units. With CE it is only a toy.

    1. There’s no way you’re running Firefox and OO.o on a 300 MHz ARM and 128 MB of RAM, is there? That’s the kind of system more suited to drastically cut-down distros like DSL (though that’s not an ARM distro) and browsers like Dillo. Fennec might work, but AFAIK, there’s no equivalently cut down version of OO.o.

      To me, any system is automatically potentially interesting if it can run GNU Emacs, so I’m intrigued, but I would be careful not to set your sights too high on what it can do.

      1. opera mini and softmaker office – a full fledged office compatible suite with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation – and you will be there. btw, there is a lot of usefull free stuff running under wince 5/6 around. even skype

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