The Skytone Alpha 680 may be one of the first netbooks announced that will run the Google Android operating system. But I’m certainly hoping it’s not the cheapest. Skytone co-founder Nixon Wu tells ComputerWorld that the netbook will cost at about $250.

And that would have been a fine price a year or two ago. But today you can pick up a netbook like the Dell Vostro A90 or older Acer Aspire One or Asus Eee PC models with 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel displays, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processors, 1GB of RAM, up to 160GB hard drives, and Windows XP or Linux, for under $300.

That makes the idea of buying a netbook with a 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display, 128MB of RAM, and 1 to 4GB of flash storage with a 533MHz ARM11 CPU for $250 a bit less reasonable.

On the bright side, the Skytone Alpha 680 is small and light, weighing about 1.5 pounds and measuring 8.5″ x 6″ x 1.2″.

Of course, netbook prices tend to fall pretty quickly. While the Alpha 680 is expected to debut for around $250, there’s nothing to stop the price from dropping once Skytone finds a few distribution partners and ramps up production.

via Slashdot

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,542 other subscribers

11 replies on “Would you pay $250 for an underpowered Google Android netbook?”

  1. No. It comes down to the fact that I need a full OS. If this was a DAP, Phone, or MID then android would be fine. Those devices don’t have the hardware or form factor to be considered a full fledged PC. I can accept shortcomings there.

    A netbook on the other hand is a fully functional PC. I want it to be able to do everything a laptop can do. If I am out somewhere and I need to troubleshoot a network connection, I know I whip out my netbook and get the job done with standard tools. i don’t want to have to worry about how to get things working on Android.

    Leave limited lite OSs to limited lite devices. Don’t start making me carry around a full sized netbook with limited functionality.

  2. They missed the boat with these. A year ago would have been the latest they should have released these. With netbooks easily had for $250 they’ll have to settle with charging under $200 and likely more around $150 if they even want to be in the market. With trashy displays and keyboards they’ll be lucky to get $150 for these.

    1. For my $250 it would have to have more than android to make the sell.
      I’m thinking 6+ hour life and smaller (and perhaps gimmicky) form factor. If they are going with an arm it should last a long time. You can get a good used Sharp Zaurus PDA for $250 right now that would compare.

  3. Nope. I’d happily pay $250 for one with a 1024×600 display, 256MB of RAM and a Cortex-A8 if it had the kind of battery life I think one could expect from such a beast. But the first thing I’d do would be to install a more typical Linux OS on it.

    Oh, and it should have a pointing stick instead of a trackpad (I think that’s true of every <14" laptop, but it's especially obvious for the smallest devices). That teeny trackpad and the buttons to either side of it don't look like a joy to use.

  4. Years ago I had a few of the WindowsCE handheld/Laptop devices and liked them for taking notes, etc. I imagine this would be even better with a cloud like computing environment which Google has already in place. However, unless current netbook/laptop prices boom I would not pay $250.

    Funny though, I might be more willing to pay more for such a device if bundled with a smaller handheld and a 3g/4g plan. Thought might be enticing.

  5. the price is ok if the the underpowered system has a better battery life. remember the palmos was run on an underclocked cpu that gave a fantastic battery life. 7″ screen is fine for web browsing and light usage. i like them small. i liked the nokia tablets. the real problem with them was that when it came to displaying pdfs the 64mb wasn’t able to render the pages properly. 7″ might be a little small for that but it would depend on the reolution on that 7″ screen. it would be border line. it would definitely need a sd card slot so that it could have a large card put in it. 8 or 16gb.

    but yeah i could see myself buying one. but then i’ve bought pretty much every other device out there. 🙂

    psion, palm, zaurus, visor, nokia, iphone, eeepc, olpc, aspire one.

  6. It’s not the price nor the OS. It’s the screen resolution. I had my expierences with 800 x 480 on a Nokia N800. It calls itself ‘internet tablet’ but frankly, this resolution is way too small for a vast majority of web pages. The typical netbook resolution of 1024 x 600 is wide enough for most sites. So, even for 99$, I wouldn’t spend money on such a device. It’s just not fit for the main task of a mobile device like that: web browsing. If it’s just chatting or e-mail you want to do, there are other devices your mobile phone provider will offer you for free.

Comments are closed.