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CherryPal Launches Cheap-as-chips $99 Laptop

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

CherryPal has launched a netbook with a price tag of just $99.

Aiming to compete with the likes of OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC, CherryPal has launched CherryPal Africa, a $99 computer designed to help school children in developing countries.

In a move that shouldn't be surprising considering the device's price, you won't see Intel's Atom or even a well known ARM-based processor in this machine. PCMag reports that the device packs a relatively unknown Chinese processor called the XBurst.

With clock speeds of just 400MHz, the device is definitely a little underpowered, but CherryPal says the device packs enough punch to get what you want done. Founder of CherryPal Max Seybold acknowledged the fact that the device will not be very speedy, "The Africa is slow," he told PCWorld. "But [it] works and is robust." Seybold went on to explain that there are plenty of people who want to access the internet but can't. The CherryPal is trying to bridge that gap.

Its 400MHz CPU aside, the mini-notebook boasts 256MB of RAM, a 2GB flash drive, a 7-inch color screen, integrated Wi-Fi b/g wireless networking, wired networking, one USB 2.0 port and two USB 1.1 ports, a microphone and a built-in speaker. According to CherryPal, the device's lithium battery is good for four hours.

Despite the fact that they're pushing this towards the developing world, CherryPal's site does say, "Whether you live in Ghana or Texas, the Cherrypal Africa is right for you!" So we're assuming it will be available in the states today. With that said, who's interested?

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    deadlockedworld , December 16, 2009 3:28 PM
    Umm. I think i could get better internet access from an ipod touch.
  • 14 Hide
    adaman2576 , December 16, 2009 3:32 PM
    i can already see the rednecks lining up at Walmart right now. "A computer for 100 bucks. Looks like i'm finally gonna get on that there internet"
  • 12 Hide
    h0llow , December 16, 2009 3:32 PM
    good to hear that people are making an effort in this world! although it has low specs, it definitely gets the job done.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    deadlockedworld , December 16, 2009 3:28 PM
    Umm. I think i could get better internet access from an ipod touch.
  • 12 Hide
    h0llow , December 16, 2009 3:32 PM
    good to hear that people are making an effort in this world! although it has low specs, it definitely gets the job done.
  • 14 Hide
    adaman2576 , December 16, 2009 3:32 PM
    i can already see the rednecks lining up at Walmart right now. "A computer for 100 bucks. Looks like i'm finally gonna get on that there internet"
  • 0 Hide
    Abrahm , December 16, 2009 3:33 PM
    I wonder why they chose to put what looks like the Windows XP background on the screen when this most likely comes with some form of Linux?

    Cool idea. I can see these being good for young kids that you want to get a computer but don't want to spend a whole lot on.
  • 0 Hide
    flyinfinni , December 16, 2009 3:35 PM
    Interesting machine. Pretty underpowered, but I guess, like they said, it can get the job done (if you have time:-)
  • -1 Hide
    Niva , December 16, 2009 3:35 PM
    Looks like it's running XP? Any more info available about the CPU, I'm guessing 386 architecture?
  • 2 Hide
    hannibal , December 16, 2009 3:46 PM
    Yes indeed. $99 is not bad at all for surfing board. It seems to have full sized keyboard. It would be nice to see some Toms Hardware test from this item.
    a) Can you really surf with it?
    b) Is the keaboard good enough?
    c) how portable (heavy) the device is?
    d) How long the battery last?

    It's no good of testing anything heavier, but maybe PC-suite for office programs?

  • 5 Hide
    Platypus , December 16, 2009 4:03 PM
    For developing countries... You have a little boy in a village going to school under some hut, and he whips out a little laptop to take notes while his classmates are writing on miniature chalkboards?

    I think the reference to rednecks above is a much more justifiable use of this product.
  • 5 Hide
    norbs , December 16, 2009 4:08 PM
    NivaLooks like it's running XP? Any more info available about the CPU, I'm guessing 386 architecture?

    Uhh yeah 400mhz 386... where you joking when you guessed that? No chip manufacturer would go back in time use an outdated chip design if they had to manufacture one today, even if it's aiming for value.
  • 6 Hide
    Platypus , December 16, 2009 4:09 PM
    And let's not even get started on who decided to name this thing the CherryPal "Africa." I'm not sure if this is trying to say the continent of Africa is dirt poor (low price tag on the laptop), incredibly ignorant (low processing power), or just completely inadequate.

    These three characteristics probably do describe the program manager for this laptop though. What an idiot.

    Disclaimer: I'm not African.
  • 0 Hide
    4ILY45 , December 16, 2009 4:17 PM
    Cherry? Isn't that the same company that makes cars in China.
  • -4 Hide
    groveborn , December 16, 2009 4:18 PM
    Craigslist is chock full of used laptops that beat the hell out of this in performance and price. It's really too late for this effort.
  • 4 Hide
    Honis , December 16, 2009 4:18 PM
    Decent machine for $99. Hope it helps the Chinese chip maker enter the $200 netbook arena.

    The the redneck references,
    The difference between a redneck and a city slicker is the redneck saves money where as the city slicker buys whatever *insert fan base* tells them they need to buy.

    Both are idiots about PCs and the Internet, one just doesn't waste their money on it. I prefer rednecks since they don't ask me idiot questions about fixing their (nonexistent) PC or believe the latest product they bought descended from the gods.
  • 0 Hide
    lifelesspoet , December 16, 2009 4:22 PM
    If I remember correctly, xburst uses a mips architectures. Something your more likely to find in a new router then a laptop. Skytone has made a 400mhz xburst laptop with a 7 inch for at least a year now for about 200 dollars.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2009 4:32 PM
    @hannibal

    a) yes you can, it's not so slow (running firefox)
    b) keyboard is pretty good
    c) this is very light as it uses ARM processor (tiny board inside without any heat)
    d) 3 hours with normal straight surfing
  • 2 Hide
    pcxt21 , December 16, 2009 4:58 PM
    sounds like it might make a nice door stop...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2009 4:59 PM
    It has an ARM processor, seems to come with Windows CE by default (EW), and the site has a notice that they've been hacked...

    Regardless, for $100 I might be interested in grabbing one to use as a highly portable remote terminal.
  • 6 Hide
    sliem , December 16, 2009 5:12 PM
    A cheap ass laptop for 6-10 yr old with limited budget parents.
    It's a good deal! Of course, if you could afford another $150 on top of $100, you could get a much better netbook. Then again, $150 is a lot of money.
  • -2 Hide
    kavic , December 16, 2009 5:53 PM
    Well honestly I don't see why anyone in a developing country needs a laptop. The majority of the people might not even have running water. Yet it seems they have electricity. I say screw sending them a laptop and trying to profit off them and just educate them more on how to live with out being killed by bugs and other stuff.

    As for $150 being a lot of money, it really isn't. Sure it could get you some really cheap canned goods, bread and lunch meat to last a month or two but really Most bills are more than that. For me some one who makes 450 each pay check 150 is not alot of money. Its just a good chunk of change that could help out if used properly but not enough to be considered alot.

    In fact I just bought $100 worth of booze yesterday that was only I large bottle and two small bottles, 3 bottles total. Thats also 3 ps3\xbox\pc games, if you get them when they first come out.
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