Maybe the Asus Eee PC never hit the mythical $200 price point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a laptop style device with a 7 inch display for a low, low price. In fact, Jointech appears to have even the OLPC project beat. While the XO Laptop still costs somewhere between a C note and $200, the Jointech JL7100 can be yours for just $99.

What’s the catch? While the JL7100 looks like a laptop, it’s got the innards of a Windows Mobile PDA. Like the Eee PC, the device has a 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel display, VGA output and 3 USB ports. But it also has just 64MB of RAM, 64MB of storage and runs Windows CE 5.0. In other words, my 3 year old Dell Axim x50v PDA can probably run circles around the JL7100 performance wise. And the Axim fits in my pocket. On the other hand, even though the Axim has been out of production for a year or two now, I doubt you’ll find one for as cheap as $100 on eBay anytime soon.

Here are some of the Jointech JL7100’s other specs:

  • Samsung Chipset
  • 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel TFT display with support for 64k colors
  • Dimensions: 225 x 165 x 36mm
  • Weight: 680 grams
  • Comes in black, pink, white, or sky blue colors
  • Battery charges in 4 hours, runs for 4 hours, lasts 72 hours in standby mode

To be honest, I would have been all over a device like this a few years ago. Windows CE may not be a full fledged OS capable of running software like Firefox or Photoshop. But it has its benefits. Instant on and off functionality, for example. And $99 isn’t a bad price for a PDA, even by today’s standards. But once you’ve gotten used to carrying a fully functional computer with a 9 inch screen and 30 second bootup around with you, the desire for a PDA with a clamshell, laptop-style form factor kind of wanes. I think I’ll keep my Dell Axim a little longer for my PDA needs and stick with a laptop for my mobile computing.

[via Engadget]

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13 replies on “Jointech JL7100: A $99 laptop or a glorified PDA?”

  1. i am a ex employee of jointech and had worked on this mini laptop, i have found it just USELESS, china made hardware, JUST NOT RELIABLE,, it will be just a waste of MONEY……….. that’s it..

  2. While it certainly has it’s place, the 64 MB is an issue. Performance has to terrible compared to some netbooks. Based on some of the prior comments, it doesn’t look like the memory can be upgraded either. Personally, I can’t see it filling a need for me.

  3. I have just spoken to the company in China and they confirmed that 20000 J-Pro (JL7100) is being manufactured for a UK company. The specifications published on their website were of just a basic configuration. The model available in UK will have WIFI enabled and built-in 2-8GB flash internal storate (not 64MB anymore). According to the company, GPS can be built-in. Solar power is also optional. Look forward to to in UK. Bear in mind, the price won’t be $99 with extra features.

  4. If this had an e-book reader, CBR reader, and properly transcoded AVI playback I’d be on it like a cheap suit

  5. If this can run standard office applications that compatible with those that are running on laptops/desktops, I can see this becoming a hit. After all, my cellphone runs on Windows CE 5.0 and it has excel.

  6. This could run Google Android, have a 100% PC-like Mozilla, Webkit or Opera based browser and 100% PC-like office apps. Having WiFi and HSDPA in this is not a problem at all.

    This can become the most popular type of Laptop within just a few months.

    4x cheaper then Asus Eee
    half the weight
    instant on since the OS is in a ROM chip
    4x the battery life (if you use a larger battery bringing the weight of this to a similar weight as the Asus Eee.
    Google Android will have all other types of software you could need.

  7. Actually, this might fill an important niche. If the battery life is decent and the price point for retail is still low then I could see this coming in handy for students and other people that could use more the 2 or 3 hours of use away from an outlet. With the included software alone, it looks like this could meet the needs of many people. I’ve been lusting after a nettop myself, but I’m having a hard time justifying getting one because my Windows Mobile TyTN QWERTY phone really does everything I need to do when I’m away from a computer at work or home. Considering the OS and low hardware demands this could end up having a big battery life and being very useful

  8. This is a EeePC 700 rebranded, without SSD nor wifi.

    By upgrading the RAM and booting with a Mandriva Flash USB, you could get a Gdium like.

    1. no way to upgrade. ever tried to “upgrade ram ” in a pocketpc? no way to run mandriva flash – personally i have never seen mandriva for arm processor.
      maybe the case is just a bit similar, but it’s totally different under the hood.

  9. as shitty as this is, I’m glad some netbooks are going in this direction. I say start with that price point and then increase performance as tech improves and prices drop.

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