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Sub-$100 Laptops Have Finally Arrived

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the near-enough-at-least dept.

Portables 437

Roman Phalanx writes "OLPC had promised that it would be possible to mass produce a sub-$100 laptop. The folks at OLPC tried to realize that dream by re-imagining what a laptop looks like. How large of screen and keyboard it has. What OS runs on the laptop. Now that OLPC has decided to super size their systems to run Windows XP, the $100 price point has slipped beyond their reach. A Chinese firm has realized that dream. Taking the best from both the OLPC and EeePC. They ditched x86 compatibility and switched to a MIPS architecture to further reduce production costs. HiVision has managed to create a UMPC that sells right now for $120.00. They say they have refined the manufacturing process and have learned from building this laptop how to mass produce a laptop that will sell for $98.00." (More below, including a link to a video of the device.)"The new HiVision MiniNote is due out in October of 2008. TechVideoBlog has footage of one of these Mini Notes being shown off at a trade show in Germany. They have managed to borrow a unit overnight for a while and have done a quick review on it. Overall it looks pretty good. MIPS based processor, WiFi, 1GB flash storage, it runs Linux, has 3 USB ports, Ethernet, SDHC card reader, audio in and out, multi-tabbed Firefox browser support and Abiword for word processing. Running a custom Chinese Linux distrubution named Xip.

Overall performance seems snappy and no problems connecting to WiFi. Other than the lack of a webcam and the Adobe Flash Player it seems perfect. For $98 it looks like quite a value."

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881435)

!!! that

Re:fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881451)

first reply to first post.

Re:fp (-1, Troll)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881483)

first reply to first post first reply.

Re:fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881785)

first reply to first post first reply's first reply!


...wheeeee

Because the interweb is unreliable (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881465)

Here is a quick link to a youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKQbN6tpYXw [youtube.com]

And I promise, it's not a rick rolling.

Re:Because the interweb is unreliable (1, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881661)

The parent link is valid. It points to YouTube content showing off the laptop.

Re:Because the interweb is unreliable (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881897)

The HiVision [hvsco.com] site is down (slashdotted)... Site must be hosted on a sub $100 server.

video resolution...bleh (5, Insightful)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881469)

looks like 800x480 is becoming the new 1280×1024.

Re:video resolution...bleh (3, Insightful)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881547)

And 128MB ram is the new 2GB.. Actually it seems like it has either 128MB or 64MB, so guess what the cheap model will have...

Re:video resolution...bleh (3, Informative)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881727)

Follow the HiVision link in TFS emj, it has half a gig of DDR2.

Re:video resolution...bleh (2, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882185)

Actually I looked at the Video and it said RAM: 64M/128M

Re:video resolution...bleh (5, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881673)

Oddly enough, I've been seeing an increase in visitors browsing my site at 800x600 over the last couple of months. It's at 11% now, and probably still climbing.

Maybe lower-resolution devices really are on the usage upswing.

Re:video resolution...bleh (5, Informative)

xx_toran_xx (936474) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881839)

and $100 is becoming the new $2000

heh.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881473)

Strange times.
A pc for under 100$ and a shiny phone for over 400$. both made in china.

Re:heh.. (4, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881867)

And neither is able to play flash. O brave new world!

Re:heh.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882025)

Indeed! Phones and netbooks will help us eradicate Flash from the Web!

Flash won't be here soon (5, Interesting)

JackassJedi (1263412) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881491)

I think from past experience (Linux 64-bit) that we'll be waiting a long time for Flash on this one... other than that it seems like a great idea to do what they did!

Re:Flash won't be here soon (5, Informative)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881681)

Gnash already has MIPS support [wikipedia.org] . As this project is actually still moving right along, we can only hope for more. Plus, Gnash already supports YouTube (although it seems people are still having problems).

Bottom line: Thoughts of Adobe supporting Flash on MIPS is a joke. Gnash already supports MIPS but we'll have to wait a little longer for Gnash to support more advanced features.

NOTE: Swfdec [freedesktop.org] also supports MIPS. I have had more luck with Swfdec, and some distros are making it the default free Flash player. Plus, it seems to have more advanced feature supported.

Re:Flash won't be here soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881969)

Adobe Flash doesn't even support x86_64, no way in hell they're gonna support MIPS!

And isn't Gnash based on Swfdec, shouldn't the projects work together? Alas, the sub-optimization that can happen in the open source world....

Re:Flash won't be here soon (2, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882137)

Negative.

Gnash is based on GameSWF. Swfdec is based on...swfdec.

For why don't they work together ... they do. See this interview [gnashdev.org] for more information.

Re:Flash won't be here soon (3, Informative)

Tester (591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881981)

There are versions of Flash available for ARM and MIPS if you pay for them.. Example: the Nokia N8x0 devices...

Re:Flash won't be here soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882281)

Flash works fine with 32bit firefox under linux 64bit.

where is my my sub $100 bum fuck? (-1, Troll)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881493)

i'm still paying taco at least $199 to let me stick it in his ass.

Where is his FOSS spirit?

useable? (0, Offtopic)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881497)

Ahh, but can you type on the damn thing? I love my Eee, but I hate using it. The keys are too damn small to type on. Screen size I can live with, but IMHO it's only good for a few non-interactive things. (I know I could add an external keyboard, but that defeats the portability that I was after.

Re:useable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881883)

i'm typing this on my eee 701, and while i wouldn't want to write a book or program on it, its just fine to tooling around on forums, slashdot, and normal emails. I'd definitely be interested in trying out a 10" version of the keyboard to see if its more reasonable without taking away the nice small form factor.

First Post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881499)

Yea, this laptop is so good with WIFI I got first post!

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881717)

Might wanna get a refund, then.

Re:First Post (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881755)

No, he's right. He got the first post... in China's Timezone.

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881913)

China only has one timezone?

Re:First Post (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881967)

Why does China need more than one timezone? Who cares what the numbers on the clock say?

The numbers on the clock are stupidly arbitrary anyway -- few people wake up at 0:00.

Re:First Post (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881725)

Yea, this laptop is so good with WIFI I got first post!

I think you need to upgrade your madwifi kernel module or something.

MIPS will make it a hard sell (0)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881507)

No precompiled apps to download, since no one has download links for MIPS and no proprietary company would bother with such a tiny market. You're going to end up compiling everything you want from source and hoping it works. It will sell only to a subset of geeks.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881541)

it only has a 1GB HD. I think the idea is it's an appliance, not intended for you to really add apps to it. Theoretically it comes with what you need for what it's intended to do. It may or may not find a mass market, but only a subset of geeks will try to see what else they can run on it...

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881567)

Yeah, the spec says 30Gb.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881735)

Linux runs on MIPS, and QEMU can emulate a MIPS machine with the elbow room to build what you need. If these take off, somebody will take on the challenge and share their precompiled binaries.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881579)

Windows CE runs on MIPS. There are plenty of WinCE programs compiled for MIPS. And so does linux, X, KDE, GNOME, etc. Are you implying that KDE/GNOME/X/GNU/Linux sucks?

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (2, Insightful)

JackassJedi (1263412) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881599)

If they really start selling it for $98 I expect a *lot* of geeks to adopt it, and in that case I think we can be sure someone will start a distro(-fork) for MIPS for this device.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882233)

There are lots of MIPS Linux distros [linux-mips.org] (Main Page [linux-mips.org] ), but that doesn't invalidate the GP post. The only apps you get are the ones in the distros. No one compiles for MIPS, since the market is miniscule. This means it is a crap shoot as to whether the source compile works, and you get nothing if the source isn't available. I had the same problem for PowerPC back when I had Linux on my old Mac, and I would wager that PPC is at least a big a market as MIPS would be.

One of my favorite bug hunts was when I found out the implementation difference in varargs between x86 and PPC: in x86, it is a pointer, which means changes in a called function don't propagate, while it is a pointer to a struct on PPC, which means changes do propagate -- thus the missing va_end only affected things on PPC.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881643)

No precompiled apps to download, since no one has download links for MIPS and no proprietary company would bother with such a tiny market.

So, you've never heard of Linux before, eh? Welcome to /.

apt-get, yum, and the like will function just as well on MIPS as they do on x86, automatically downloading the pre-compiled binaries for your arch.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (0)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881891)

Just because Aptitude works doesn't mean there's any MIPS packages to download.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882001)

Just because Aptitude works doesn't mean there's any MIPS packages to download.

No, of course not.

It's the fact that:

it's trivially to compile for MIPS once you've got it compiled for every other major architecture.

the likes of Debian and other non-commercial distros have policies to ensure that all possible architectures are fully supported.

MIPS is an extremely popular architecture (Embedded, PDAs, SGI systems, etc.) ...that means there's tons of MIPS binary packages available for download.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882005)

MIPS is supported by Debian, so there are plenty of packages to download.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882071)

Just because Aptitude works doesn't mean there's any MIPS packages to download.

True, but all it takes is a source repository, a cross compiler, and a huge botnet to turn things around.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881659)

Is that a sure thing? If you make a lot of cheap useful mini-computers and include good developer tools, why won't the users make their own? Don't think of it like a PC, think of like an open PDA or phone. Done right they could have a very healthy community app selection quickly.

Just don't be surprised if most of the apps are in Chinese first.

(We can call it the Little Red Notebook!)

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881683)

It's a head in the cloud.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881687)

Actually....

This looks like a perfect platform for Angstrom

angstrom-distribution.org

Lots of apps, and more machines like this the better. Fro $98 I expect this will sell like crazy. Beats the crap out of a Sharp Zaurus....

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (5, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881747)

It's about time we ditch the deranged lunacy that is x86 instruction set, especially when even Intel is going on multiple-core strategy. I'd love to see ARM- or MIPS-based multi-core chips take over.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882083)

Out of interest, it's a 32-bit XBurst CPU from Ingenic Semiconductors.

http://www.ingenic.cn/eng/productServ/XBurst/pfCustomPage.aspx

Sick of hearing that!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882275)

Name one quantitative way that MIPS is better than x86-64. Hint: there isn't one. See also: Intel Atom.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881793)

Funny. I'm running a full linux on a MIPS machine I have here. I can install binary packages of everything I have wanted to install by just doing "ipkg install ". Check out OpenWRT if you're interested.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881811)

No precompiled apps to download,

Yeah, there's only a little over 20,000 precompiled MIPS packages here [debian.org] . (Well, technically, somewhere in here [debian.org] , with an index located here [debian.org] .) I tend to think that 20,000+ is a little bit more than zero, but maybe that's just me. :)

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Funny)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882027)

What are you talking about, 20,000 has 4 zeros in it!

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Funny)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882183)

And four zeros is more than (one) zero. I rest my case. :)

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881917)

Speaking of MIPS, isn't that something you measure x86 chips (or any chips) with? As in millions of instructions per second. I've never heard of an architecture based off a speed rating.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882037)

I've never heard of an architecture based off a speed rating.

No? Have you heard of acronym collisions before?

Millions of Instructions Per Second

vs.

Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages

And don't get me started on "POWER"/"PowerPC", because, of course, those terms would never refer to anything other than a CPU architecture...

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882197)

See, it's comments like this that make me ignore anyone with a /. UID over a million. MIPS is one of the oldest RISC architectures (actually predating the term RISC, which came from another competing project from the same era) and is one of the most popular instruction sets in the world (I think ARM overtook it at some point in the last decade, but it's still well ahead of x86 in terms of installed-base).

To the grandparent, I think you'll find lots of precombiled binaries to download for MIPS [openbsd.org] .

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (5, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882199)

Speaking of MIPS, isn't that something you measure x86 chips (or any chips) with? As in millions of instructions per second. I've never heard of an architecture based off a speed rating.

MIPS was one of the first successful manufacturers of a CPU chip with a reduced instruction set (from which of course the RISC acronym arose) as an alternative to the Intel x86 complex instruction set (CISC). The idea was that you could get a faster computer by being able to execute an entire instruction in a single clock cycle, rather than accept the overheads in silicon required by an architecture that takes more than one clock cycle to execute a single instruction. If you can do it in one clock cycle, it means that the whole instruction must fit within the instruction register, that is operation code, address, and any modifying flags that go with it. CISC instruction sets have to make a branch decision based on the opcode as to whether there's more to read into that register before the operation can complete. Less silicon to navigate meant more efficient structures, thus higher speed.

For many years, this worked quite well. Intel had to work very hard to make their CISC instruction set as fast as it is; market forces meant that MIPS couldn't keep up in the prime PC market, thus settled out into the small, high efficiency and inexpensive niche. You still see a lot of embedded systems using RISC chips.

This is also the basis of the controversy you encounter when using the term "MIPS" in it's meaning of "Millions of Instructions Per Second" as a fundamental metric of computer speed -- it's hard to compare a million RISC instructions with a million CISC instructions, in the same way that it's hard to rate an engine by the number of cylinders it has. Myer-Drake Indy cars had a lovely 4-cylinder engine that burned pure alcohol (the "Offenhauser", or "Offy") for many years that had a much higher output than your commercial V8. It's difficult to find a good standard metric some times.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881959)

or...it will sell to people who only want to do IM, email, web, video chat, voice chat, documents, and listen to music.

basically everything about 75% of computer users actually need in its entirety.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (3, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882009)

No precompiled apps to download, since no one has download links for MIPS and no proprietary company would bother with such a tiny market.

I take it you never heard of Debian? They have precompiled binaries for pretty much every current processor architecture, including MIPS.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882151)

No precompiled apps to download, since no one has download links for MIPS and no proprietary company would bother with such a tiny market.

Are you kidding? What are you planning to do with this, have it as your main desktop?

At $98, I'll buy 2 or 3 of them to throw around the house for quick browsing. If they can get Flash, it'll be full-blown awesome.

Re:MIPS will make it a hard sell (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882235)

Here's the thing about software:

Once you standardize the hardware, you compile the software ONCE, and then everyone can copy it.

Expect a website to appear to collect all of the compiled apps for this thing. From then on there's no effort or cost for new users to obtain new software.

Of course, there are a hundred security issues with this, but for $89 retail you aren't going to get a secure platform.

Flashlessness kills it (2, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881511)

If it doesn't run the Flash plugin, it's out of the Interweb game for most people. I'm sure someone will port GNU Gnash to it, but that's hardly a substitute. If the buyer only cares about some specific function like word processing, this might not matter. But the usual idea of netbooks is that they are more or less fully web-enabled.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (5, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881597)

The iphone doesn't run flash and it costs twice as much. No one will ever buy one!

Re:Flashlessness kills it (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881887)

The iphone doesn't run flash and it costs twice as much. No one will ever buy one!

When you buy a computer smaller than your hand you pretty much accept you won't get a full browsing experience out of it. Not so with a netbook, which despite its size is still basically a cheap laptop, and comes with laptop expectations.

To me the interesting thing about the rise of the netbooks is that they mark the death of the upgrade cycle that Microsoft and Intel have fed off for many years. Basically you're getting a laptop with the power of a four year old model, but lightweight, cheap, and with a new warranty. These MIPS-based models satisfy all of those benefits, but the compatibility issue will make this a non-seller for most people.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881973)

Umm, what's it run then? Youtube seems to work.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (3, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882031)

Umm, what's it run then? Youtube seems to work.

The iPhone's got its own YouTube player [apple.com] .

Re:Flashlessness kills it (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882171)

Ahh I see. More epic Safari fail I guess.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24882239)

You're dead right and I'd be amazed if the flash guys aren't pondering an iPhone port pretty soon which would be a 'good thing' and might hopefully make porting to other platforms more viable.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881799)

Gnash has already been ported to MIPS, so has Swfdec. See my above post. [slashdot.org] I definitely agree though, at the moment Gnash (and to a lesser extent Swfdec) are not a good substitute for Adobe Flash.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882019)

Ah, no Flash, eh? This feature list just gets better and better. How did they keep Flash off of it? Apple figured out how to block it from iPhone, and if they could just figure out how to block it out of OS X, their marketshare would undoubtedly spike. I just wish those malware writers could find something better to do with their time instead of Flashing us with the 3rd Great Scourge of the Internet, after spam and viruses.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (5, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881855)

Most flash can be simulated. Most people can do it by banging their head hard on a desk three times. For IT people it is easier - get somebody to stand behind you to repeat the incredibly stupid term "interweb" and your head will hurt just as much as if you've seen nearly any flash content on the net.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881895)

From tfa and guessing I found the distro they run... xipos [xiptech.com] .
and supposedly they DO support flash [xiptech.com] ... yeah, it's only up to flash 6, but... well...yeah.

Re:Flashlessness kills it (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882109)

Yes which means it is a work machine. Give this to the employees, students, etc, and it is possible they might be productive instead of watching p0rn all day. There are enough resources that don't depend on flash that it might make a good choice for the kiddos at home.

But seriously, if this can log onto a webdav partition, and run LaTeX, it might be a serious writing machine, akin to the Tandy 200 that was my mainstay for so long. It certainly runs OO.org, which allows one to make presentations, that should be able to be saved to flash, if not run.

Depending on what the final specs and availability are, i would certainly buy this for the days that I do not wish to carry the expensive machine.

A feature, not a bug (5, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881523)

No flash? That's a feature, not a bug!

Re:A feature, not a bug (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882129)

The lack of a webcam is also a feature.

Wake me when they ship (5, Insightful)

tfrayner (186362) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881553)

They say they have refined the manufacturing process and have learned from building this laptop how to mass produce a laptop that will sell for $98.00

So... "Sub-$100 Laptops Have Finally Arrived". And yet... they haven't. It'd be nice (although, apparently, unrealistic) to think that we've learnt by now not to give credence to vaporware. Color me unimpressed.

Re:Wake me when they ship (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881625)

Color me unimpressed.

I too refuse to be satisfied until it comes with my happy meal.

Re:Wake me when they ship (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881857)

There's no doubt it's possibly vaporware.

But, there are 2 things to consider. 1. The model they displayed is 120--not too far off from 100, really. 2. The 98 model is due out in october, which is one month away. It might be that it is perpetually 1 month away, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until november.

The real question for me is the usefulness of it. That thing looks like it's slightly larger than a Nintendo DS, which is pretty small. I'm wondering just how easy this thing will be to use, or if I'll have to resort to hunt and peck, or thumbing the keyboard to type in what I want.

count me out (0, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881939)

A Chinese firm has realized that dream

Well, I'm out. I'll wait for something not developed by a company in that regime. Sure, I can't avoid China entirely, but I can do...well...what I can.

Want it! (1)

JackassJedi (1263412) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881563)

OK after watching the video i can only say: totally want!!

I still don't understand OLPC (3, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881575)

OLPC was a noble idea, but one that was fundamentally flawed; this is because the specs did not originate from the areas of the world that would be using it but were spun out of a pie in the sky engineering lab. The scale of the OLPC was immense and impractical and the fact that they attempted it at all they should be given alot of credit for dealing with the political, economic and technical problems.

Re:I still don't understand OLPC (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882011)

Bah, the problem was too much press. If they had just quietly done what they wanted to do, they would have gotten the sales they needed without Intel and Microsoft butting in. But no, NN had to go toot his horn.

does it have a phone home feature? (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881715)

Finally, the reds will now be able to download my life simply and easily. Point and click, just like M$!!

YouTube link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881741)

For those who don't want to bother with DivX, or would like to savor the irony of watching a flash ad/review for a computer that won't play flash, here's the video [youtube.com]

Uptake Hampered by Non-x86 Architecture (1, Flamebait)

Lumenary7204 (706407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881765)

Although the laptop is probably a great piece of engineering for something that has a sub-$100 price tag, the decision to go with a MIPS processor is probably going to relegate the device to niche markets - census taking, for example, or maybe something along the lines of inventory control.

The lack of official (and I emphasize "official") Flash 9 and Adobe PDF support would probably be a deal breaker for Joe Average Home and Business user.

Granted, a most of the PDF spec is now available royalty-free, and an FOSS Flash plug-in has been released (and is under continuing development), but I doubt that is going to put sway too many folk's purchasing decisions.

The MIPS processor will probably doom it forever to the realm of Geekdom...

Re:Uptake Hampered by Non-x86 Architecture (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881965)

Whilst I agree that non-official flash is a bad thing, non-official pdf software is (IMHO) far superior to the adobe offerings.

Foxit (which won't be on MIPS) is a great, lightweight reader. And whatever came with my linux distros (debian, ubuntu and redhat) works just as well.

I don't think Joe average is that bothered about pdf either, personally, not bothered enough that it has to be adobe.

MIPS is cool. My router runs on MIPS, as does my PSP. I have three linux on ARM devices, a linux on PPC and a couple of x86 machines. The x86 monopoly could be broken without too much hassle (imho). At the low end of the market anyway, nothing else has the price/performance right now 'cos of the billions poured in by AMD and Intel.

Re:Uptake Hampered by Non-x86 Architecture (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881985)

I don't think Joe Average or any business user is going to touch this laptop. IMHO, it's meant for the low-end of the market - young kids and old folks. It's perfect for them.

MIPS will cripple this... (1)

creature124 (1148937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881775)

I will admit now that I know next to nothing about MIPS processors. However, if it isn't compatable with x86 apps it will need quite a large repository of pre-compiled apps or MIPS will be it's downfall.

where to get one? (4, Interesting)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881865)

Sooo... where are they available? A quick google search yields nothing on either the currently available models or this one.

Tagged !arrived (1)

daybot (911557) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881889)

"Sub-$100 Laptops Have Finally Arrived"

...has managed to create a UMPC that sells right now for $120.00. They say they have refined the manufacturing process and have learned from building this laptop how to mass produce a laptop that will sell for $98.00

Tagged !arrived...

This is the hardware stats (5, Informative)

wlfischer (1357925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881935)

This shows on the YouTube video at 03:58:

400MHz/32bit CPU
128M/64M RAM
1GB NAND Flash
Linux or WinCE
7" 800x480 display
Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
10/100M ethernet

I'll believe that they "have arrived"... (4, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881957)

...when there's a link to BUY ONE. Now. Right now. I have my credit card at the ready. Where can I buy one, even at the $120 price point that they are supposedly selling "right now" for?

Well? Link or it didn't happen. Otherwise, this is just another fucking slashvertisement.

Re:I'll believe that they "have arrived"... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882223)

And of course having a link to a enter credit card details to buy now would make it less of a "fucking slashvertisement"?!?

Re:I'll believe that they "have arrived"... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882243)

At least it wouldn't be a VAPOURWARE slashvertisement...

Re:I'll believe that they "have arrived"... (1)

edalytical (671270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882257)

I can't decide if a link to buy one would make it more or less of a fucking slashvertisement. But yeah I'd buy one right now too.

Don't count on it... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882117)

I think it's extremely safe to say this is completely vaporware hype, with no substance at all.

Laptops that just about exactly match the specs and description of this supposed $100 machine, currently retail for $250:

http://www.compsource.com/pn/3KRZ40074GB/3k_Computers_2340/ [compsource.com]

I fail to believe it's being sold at a 100% mark-up, or that any magic they can do in the next couple years is going to half the materials and production costs of a laptop.

It looks like a decent bit of hardware, but don't count on it getting significantly cheaper while you wait. Even if the price of the chips (Flash, CPU, RAM, etc.) suddenly drop dramatically (which is highly unlikely), you've still got to deal with the base cost of NiMH batteries, plastic, lights, keyboards, touch pads, power supplies, LCD displays, assembly (man hours aren't getting any cheaper), etc., etc.

If you want a low-end system, pay the $250. Don't wait for the vapor to clear.

I really don't see what the big deal is (0, Troll)

McBeer (714119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882143)

There have been sub $100 laptops on ebay for years. Furthermore most of them are better then the pieces of crap in these articles. Sure the batteries are sometimes shot, but most of them still work.

This is a disaster (1)

SiliconSeraph (996818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24882157)

Now an even wider demographic of computer illiterate dullards will be able to stumble their way into our arms for inane tech help.
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