The “world’s cheapest laptop” goes by many names. In some countries it’s known as the Alpha 400, while others call it the Razorbook 400. But all the variations have one thing in common so far: They run a custom version of Linux that makes hacking/tweaking the operating system pretty difficult.

When Laptop Magazine’s Joanna Stern got a first look at the 3K Razorbook 400, one of the things she noted was that there was no way to gain terminal access or to change the boot menu and load an alternative operating system. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And some hackers in Holland have figured out how to access the terminal as root. Trendtac, The Dutch distributor has posted instructions online.

Liliputing tipster Menno Dijk who sent this in also points out that Ingenic, the makers of the CPU used in these computers, has posted extensive information about running Windows CE 5.0 with the chip. US distributor 3K has already suggested that it will make a version with Windows CE available. But perhaps we’ll see an unofficial port sooner than that?

thanks Menno!

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One reply on “How to gain root access on a Razorbook 400/Alpha 400”

  1. Hello all,

    This is Fran from Exon. We are the Chinese ODM manufacturer of the 7″ minilaptop Linux computers which are also offered by different oversea OEM brands (Alpha 400, 3K RazorBook 400, Trendtac, etc).

    Our current offer for 1K of these computers is USD89 each (2008 Nov), and we have just also upgraded the processor to Intel XScale. Undoubtedly ours is the cheapest laptop PC. Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Fran Wong
    Marketing Executive
    Exon International Technology Co Ltd

Comments are closed.