Like the idea of a netbook, but wish you could fit it in your pocket? The Qi NanoNote might fit the bill. This little guy has a 3 inch, 320 x 240 pixel display and a clamshell design with a QWERTY keyboard. It’s designed for thumb-typing, so don’t expect this thing to be able to touch type on this the NanoNote. But that’s the price you pay for pocketability.

Speaking of price, the Qi NanoNote has a pretty low one at just $99. Here’s what you get for your money:

  • CPU: 336MHz Xburst Jz4720 (MIPS compatible)
  • RAM: 32MB
  • Storage: 2GB flash storage
  • Display: 3″ color 320 x 240 TFT display
  • Expansion: microSD card slot, Mini-USB port
  • Other: mic, speaker, headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 99 x 75 x 17.5
  • Weight:126
  • Battery: 850mAh Li-ION

The Qi NanoNote boots Linux, and is bootable over USB if you want to test alternate operating systems.The goal is to attract developers who will make the NanNote into something more useful. It could be a portable video player, web browser, or other device — although I don’t actually see anything about wireless capabilities. Qi Hardware plans to release other projets with different hardware down the road.

via Engadget

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12 replies on “Qi NanoNote: $99 cellphone-sized mini computer running Linux”

  1. I’m sure we can add wireless back in with a usb dongle, but that it isn’t built in is odd.

  2. Yeah the lack of wifi is a deal breaker for me. I was ready to order one before I found that out. I was interested in the zipit but it just looks so toyish. The nanonote is a cool looking device.

    1. WiFi should be possible using SDIO (microSD card). to my knowledge WiFi SDIO drivers are available and work (alpha stage).

  3. Strange device. They appear to have taken a distribution, OpenWRT normally installed on home Wireless access point/routers, found a similar MIPS chip that includes support for a display and then discarded all of the network bits and bolted an LCD, keyboard and battery on.

    I’m wondering just what the intended use case is. After reading their site it is clear they don’t know either, they hope that if they toss the hardware out somebody will come up with a use.

    The days when Linux could run in 32MB are long past. Yes I ran a desktop with Netscape in that space but it wasn’t a 2.6 kernel with modern bloated libraries supporting the modern Internet. Of course this gadget really doesn’t have to worry about the Internet since it lacks both wired and wireless connectivity. Really strange to build a machine with no network in 2010.

  4. TheWalt: Thanks for the tip, the ZipIt looks like it might make a fun hacking toy… perhaps a good “remote control” for a media PC.

    1. Now that I’ve looked at it a bit more, the ZipIt Z2 and the Qi NanoNote have quite a few differences, but the big thing for mobility is the Z2 is three times the weight at a bit over 3/4 pound, more than twice as heavy as an HTC Touch Pro.

  5. This looked great until I found out no wireless.

    I have been following the ZipIT Z2 project from and others.

    Basically the same hardware, with wireless, and a full working userland. Given it is a hack, but for $50 and the cost of a mini-sd not to bad a deal.

    1. WiFi should be possible using SDIO (microSD card). to my knowledge WiFi SDIO drivers are available and work (alpha stage).

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