You may have noticed that there’s a trend in the ultraportable laptop space that’s leading to larger, more powerful, and more expensive laptops. You know, kind of like the ones we were all using a few years ago. I’m still happy at all the new choices available for people looking to pick up a 12 inch or smaller laptop for under $600. But if you’re looking for something way cheaper, there are still a number of companies putting out tiny, less capable devices. And some of them are incredibly cheap.

Case in point: The SMQ 4012 Aviation Book. This little guy sports a 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display, a VIA VT8500 ARM-based processor running at just 400MHz, 128MB of RAM and 2GB of storage. It runs Windows CE and weighs just over 1.4 pounds. The best part? It sells for 85 Euros, or about $122 US… not that I’ve seen it in the US yet, but you never know.

You can find more details, plus a whole slew of pictures at

The SMQ 4012 isn’t the cheapest clamshell-style laptop I’ve seen running Windows CE. But it’s certainly one of the cheapest.

Update: I stand corrected. You can order the SMQ 4012 (or rather, an unnamed model of this notebook) in the US for about $120.

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16 replies on “SMQ 4012 Aviation Book is small, slow, but dirt cheap”

  1. Small, slow and dirt cheap is what started this craze.
    A lot of people will accept “slow” if they get “small and dirt cheap” thrown in. 😉

    1. True, and there is a place for slow and cheap if that DOES what you need.

  2. Forget, it is asian and you pay the shipping charges accordingly.

    And why the hell have all the arm machines suddenly switched to WinCE? Who would actually prefer that? Not that what we want matters. 🙁

  3. I would happily purchase a 7″ low-powered laptop running CE or some version of Linux for $100. If it was around the same dimensions at the Viliv 7″ convertible that would be awesome.

  4. i understand that Liliputing has to be far and impartial to all but to even mention this netbook is a waste. Most people want at least the 10 inch netbook and a few 8.9 that have the same specs with exception of screen size. So to even push out a piece of crap like this to me is a waste and should not be given the face time on this site. It seems that manufactures are just throwing netbooks together just to say they have one there is no way possible they could have figured a market for this device. This is just me bitch’n a little because I am tired of seeing crappy netbooks hit the market just because.

    1. You want 10 inch netbooks, but I do not. My opinion is no less valuable than yours, and vice versa.

      I for one deplore netbooks getting bigger and more expensive. Might as well just buy a regular notebook.

    2. I always suspected I wasn’t like “most people.” I have a 10″ and a 8.9″ netbook. It’s the smaller one that goes where I go. Give me a 7 incher at one pound running a full Linux distro at around this price and I would be in heaven.

      1. Gigantor and Garamond I never said your opinion wasn’t valued. I just look at the numbers and from what I see most people want at least a 10 inch running a familiar OS like Windows. I know there are many out there who adore Linux based OS’s but lets face it, if you ask the average person they will choose a Windows based netbook with a 10 inch screen.

        1. Leaving aside the OS since that is a whole other issue, let me focus on hyper portability. Let’s not forget that the original “netbook”, the Asus EeePC 701 was, of course, 7″ and was a resounding success. There used to be a gap between 7 and 14 inch machines. That’s been amply filled. It wasn’t just because the 701 was cheap (then) that accounted for its success. Good size laptops could have been had for its price. It was its compactness. No doubt there is a market at every inch increment of display. My point is that the original netbook craze began with 7″ and 8.9″. That segment seems to have gotten short shrift lately.

          1. But there is, of course, an OS connection to display size. The only OSes that scale well to 7″ and under and are not terribly crippled like Windows CE are Linux-derived.

  5. This ought to be a non starter. You can buy a used EEE PC 701 for $80-130 on ebay (and a 900a for $160) and those can do heaps more and weigh just over 2 lbs. Or you can buy a Nokia tablet with the same speed and memory for about $100.

  6. There is a lot of similar ones on eBay in which you can get for a lot less. If you’re lucky, you can score one for under $80. They all have the same specs.

  7. I can say one thing it is slick looking. And the price is good for what it does. If it is a 400 MHz then it must be a VIA Eden ESP Processor (Samuel 2) and that certainly doesn’t seem too weak. It might even be one of the speedier 7″ netbooks ever made, but that would need to be tested. I really wish they had gone with an 8.9″ screen.

    With that said I think these 7″ to 8.9″ models are really made for kids’ hands. A $120-$160 machine would be great for a child from 5-10 years old. The only hitch being FlashVideo performance being sub-par and most kids going online would want to watch some video.

    1. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

      It clearly says the processor is a “VT8500 ARM-based processor” which is by no means an x86 C3-based Eden.

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