You know those cheap mini-notebooks with a custom LInux operating system, a tiny touchpad, and a 7 inch display that seem to be all over the place? Apparently they’re all made by the same company in China. And that company, Exon International Technology, is giving them a bit of an upgrade. Or at least a lateral-grade.

Exon recently replaced the 400MHz Ingenic CPU in these netbooks with a 400MHz Intel XScale processor. It’s also calling the new models the PC701-LX. The first netbook I’ve seen with the PC701 name is the Firstview PC701. I think it’s fair to say these are the same computer.

While the XScale CPU may nto win any awards for speed, it is at least a bit more common than the Ingenic CPU. The Intel XScale processor is used in a wide variety of mobile devices including cellphones and PDAs. I wouldn’t expect it to handle Windows XP very well, but it’s good enough for Windows CE or the light weight custom version of Linux that Exon preloads on these netbooks. The product page does say that the PC701-LX is Windows XP compatible. So I guess it’s theoretically possible to run the operating system. I just wouldn’t expect much from it.

Update: Exon says the Windows XP model has a 1GHz x86 CPU and 8GB of solid state memory, but costs more than the version with the 400MHz Intel XScale processor.

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11 replies on “Razorbook/Alpha 400 maker changes its name, processor”

    we know most of your products-umpc are also sold by other companies under different brand names. this suppliers are claiming to be manufacturers of your products and are cheating the buyers during ELECTRONIC FAIRS in hong kong. your company knows about this, but not taking any actions against them because your company is making money from them. i think it is already time, for your company to announce publicly or tru other media means, who are this COMPANIES? they are only trading companies but not manufacturers.. this will lead to confusion on the part of buyers. please wake up

  2. Dear All,

    Skytone etc are the “brand” manufacturers, and we are the OEM and ODM manufacturer of their items. If you are in the industry, you will know Exon, Foxconn, etc which are the true manufacturers behind many different items and we are not as famous as the brand manufacturers for obvious reasons.

    Best regards,
    Exon International Technology Co Ltd

  3. I was under the impression that it was “Skytone” who designed the alpha 400 & alikes..

    Never heard of Exon, besides the gas-a-like 😀

  4. I presume the USD87 price must be for volume wholesale purchases. I wonder if the PC701-LX is available yet for retail purchase.

  5. Dear All,

    For the WinXP version, we will use another processor manufactured by a Taiwanese company. It is a x86 processor running at 1GHz, and it will also has a graphic accelerator Volari Z9s (32MB RAM). The internal storage will also be upgraded to 8GB instead. The current specs posted in our website is for the Linux version only and our offered price is USD89 – the cheapest in the whole world.

    Best regards,
    Exon International Technology Co Ltd

    1. is USD89 for volume? how about the price for one sample piece for testing PC701-LX? Why during the october 08 hktdc elecronic fair in hong kong, the sample price was very high usd180? shocking to see the price drop down very fast to usd89 just in 3 months? why your company does not give out proper TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION MANUALS to sample buyers? are you having fear in the mind that people will copy your products? why you are not doing proper duties as sellers? do you think in your mind that all buyers are expert in computers? you expect all buyers to be expert like you? buyers will have probelms after buying, that is the law of nature, but why your after sales services are so bad?? please wake up… thanks

  6. The only way you could run XP on one of these (if at all possible) would be through painfully slow emulation.

  7. The xscale processor is ARM (I have an NSLU-2 with one) –
    Debian supports ARMel (little endian) and openWRT supports ARMbl (big endian).
    Note that ARMel is second only to x86 as the most used Debian system processor.

    That gives you access to about 18,000 Linux software packages for your “stripped down Linux system” 😉

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