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The $45 Windows Laptop

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the on-the-cheap dept.

Portables 299

YokimaSun writes "The search for a cheap laptop has brought us news from India of a $10 laptop (which later turned out to be a hundred dollars). Today PC Gaming News has details of a laptop which is selling for a measly 45 dollars, what do you get for that, you get a netbook running windows embedded compact 7, 128 megs of ram, a via8505 processor and a 7 inch screen capable of 800x480 pixels resolution." I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook.

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299 comments

"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (5, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359173)

"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook."

What is the point of this kind of trolling in article summaries, really?

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359261)

What is the point of your knee-jerk running to defend your beloved company from a perceived "trolling" attempt?

btw, the word you are looking for is "flamebait", I know it's popular today to call any activity that is not a circle jerk a "troll", but please try to stick to the definition of the word.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (0)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359289)

Why not call the $45 netbook a micro-tablet and beat Apple to the marketing hype? It would fail miserably anyway but at least we would feel really important.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359305)

It's tough being an angry virgin these days isn't it. What with all the dating site ads.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359321)

"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook."

What is the point of this kind of trolling in article summaries, really?

Keep waiting. The biggest feature of apple products is the price tag. If they were cheap, they'd be no more desirable than any other notebook. It's the same thing with a prada bag vs a superior but less expensive generic.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359541)

I think that hasn't been true in a long time. You might be able to get a similarly spec'ed laptop if you didn't care about form-factor or style that much, but then it's not really the same product. The new Mac Book Pro has taken things even further by giving the best resolution available for the money. Doing a quick price comparison can show you they aren't overpriced at all. The Dell Ultrabook XPS 13 currently retails for $999, while the Mac Book Air 13" retails at $1199. Of course the Mac is more, but it has a 1400x900 screen as opposed to 720p resolution, 1.8GHz CPU as opposed to 1.6GHz CPU and a height of 0.68 inches vs. 0.71 inches. The rest of the main features seem to be about the same, and while some may say, what's the difference between .68 and .71 inches, well, it's still 5%, which takes quite a lot of engineering to get rid of when you are looking at laptops of this size. Mac laptops are quite competitively priced, the only problem is they've decided not to make $400 laptops. Which is fine, because there is no money to be made in that market anyway.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359605)

I would submit that the backlit keyboard and absolutely wonderful mac trackpad are worth the difference in price alone. Windows peeps have no concept of how nice a GOOD trackpad is.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359713)

There is no such thing as a good trackpad, they are all equally terrible. I will keep my trackpoint nub, thank you very much.

$1200 is not a good price (1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359697)

I don't frankly care if something is 0.68 inches or 0.71 inches thick. Nor wether it has 1400 resolution which I won't be using anyway. What I do care about is an optical drive, plenty of USB slots and an ethernet port so I don't have to rely on shit Wifi reception when in an office or at home and can use a high speed cable instead.

Oh , but it doesn't have that.

Ultrabooks in general and Mac laptops specifically are nothing more than vanity machines for people with more money than sense.

Mod me down apple fanboys, I care not and I have karma to burn.

Re:$1200 is not a good price (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359763)

See the problem is that Apple doesn't make a Mac for your needs and specs and price. They do sell millions to customers each quarter that fulfills their needs as some people want an Ultrabook. I would venture to say that few of them judge you while you judge them.

Re:$1200 is not a good price (-1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359899)

"They do sell millions to customers each quarter that fulfills their needs as some people want an Ultrabook"

Of course some people want them - the same way some people want a pair of Jimmy Choos when a $50 pair of shoes would do the same job. Its a fashion item for rich fashion victims. Most people who buy an ultrabook probably couldn't even spell ethernet port much less tell you what one is. But its sooo shiny and sleak and preeeetty .... *drool*

"I would venture to say that few of them judge you while you judge them."

Oh I feel so guilty judging people on a forum. Whatever next, subjective opinions?

Re:$1200 is not a good price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359773)

You don't care about screen res but you do care about an optical drive? I despise Apple and everything they stand for, but the Air is a pretty quality piece of hardware (f*** Mac OS) at a reasonable price.

Re:$1200 is not a good price (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359827)

"You don't care about screen res but you do care about an optical drive?"

I do care about screen res , but not when it makes the pixels so tiny that they're almost invisible and can't be distinguised from a lower resolution but cost a hell of a lot more.

As for optical drives I fail to see the connection - I don't see why I should have to buy a separate drive just do I can install boxed software.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359701)

I'm amazed how few people actually price shop before they claim the Apple laptops are overpriced. I find them to be +/- 10% of a roughly-equivalent Dell/HP/Lenovo.

It is correct to say that Apple's laptops are expensive - they don't offer anything at all on the low-end.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

davydagger (2566757) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359765)

I price shop and I think apple laptops are overpriced. everytime I do I am disapointed. If they where the same price I just might buy one. Laptops are are terribly hard to mod, with exception of hard drives and mabey some extra ram. first thing I do is install linux anyway so I just buy hardware, and don't care who's name is on it.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359821)

I price shop and I think apple laptops are overpriced..

Care to show some examples? Like the GP, I find them to be spot-on when comparing apples to apples. Build quality, OS, and support is well worth the $50-100 premium, if any.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359805)

I'm amazed how few people actually price shop before they claim the Apple laptops are overpriced.

I did just that when I bought my new laptop a couple of years ago. My Toshiba cost $1100 while the closest equivalent Mac -- AFAIR it had a sligfhtly faster CPU, less RAM and a smaller hard drive -- was about $2500.

So yes, overpriced it was.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359825)

Well they are fairly competitive when first released. Over time Macs are less competitive as Apple refreshes less often than Dell and not as likely as Dell to hold sales. If the main factor when shopping is price alone, a Mac will never be the computer someone buys.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359861)

The Mac Mini line has always seemed reasonably priced to me...

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (0)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360019)

They can say they are overpriced because they are overpriced. There may be a small window at launch time when there is nothing from Dell / whomever to make a comparison with (e.g. if Apple has switched to a new CPU), but as soon as there is, the disparity in pricing becomes very obvious and becomes more pronounced the further up the ladder in specs / storage / memory etc. that you go.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359719)

you lost when you started talking about clock speeds...

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (0)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359855)

Just a point of fact:

The new MBP screen may have a physical resolution of 2880x1800, but the OS presents this to applications as the same old 1440x900 and automatically pixel-doubles them, unless they specifically flag themselves as "Retina-Capable" (and those that do normally just render at twice the size, so you get sharper text and lines, but no change in size). So you basically get a really sharp 1440x900 display - you don't get any extra screen space from it, which is the main reason we *want* high-res screens.

If you set it to give you the most space, you can set it to 1900x1200 (or something like that) and get a decent amount of screen space, but not a revolutionary amount.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359911)

http://lifehacker.com/5919132/build-the-mac-pro-that-you-wish-apple-released

I open with that...

There are some things Apple makes that are clearly better (ipod/iphone). However, many of their products can be had for cheaper and/or better in a 'clone'.

the only problem is they've decided not to make $400 laptops. Which is fine, because there is no money to be made in that market anyway Tell that to nintendo. They try to hit the 60-150 price point every time. They make pretty good stuff and they do not sell at a loss... There is money to be made at the 'lower end' it just costs more up front cost... Apple *LONG* ago stopped being about hackers and more about style. They are good computers, dont get me wrong. But you are paying for 'cool'. Its not *much* more (cant be or people wouldnt buy it at all) but that is what you are buying. Apple has it at a low enough rate that it is a 'what the hell' sort of thing.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

oddjob1244 (1179491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359941)

I think that hasn't been true in a long time. You might be able to get a similarly spec'ed laptop if you didn't care about form-factor or style that much, but then it's not really the same product. The new Mac Book Pro has taken things even further by giving the best resolution available for the money. Doing a quick price comparison can show you they aren't overpriced at all. The Dell Ultrabook XPS 13 currently retails for $999, while the Mac Book Air 13" retails at $1199. Of course the Mac is more, but it has a 1400x900 screen as opposed to 720p resolution, 1.8GHz CPU as opposed to 1.6GHz CPU and a height of 0.68 inches vs. 0.71 inches. The rest of the main features seem to be about the same, and while some may say, what's the difference between .68 and .71 inches, well, it's still 5%, which takes quite a lot of engineering to get rid of when you are looking at laptops of this size. Mac laptops are quite competitively priced, the only problem is they've decided not to make $400 laptops. Which is fine, because there is no money to be made in that market anyway.

They're overpriced regarding "How much money do I need to spend to get the task done" not "What gives me the most features for my dollar." A $400 laptop can type Word documents, create Excel spreadsheets, browse the internet, send email, haul it around a job site looking at PDFs, watch movies, and play games just as well as the $1200 mac book pro. I don't need to do that in 720p resolution, I don't need a super drive sitting idle, I don't need 500 gb of hard drive storage, or the cutting edge RAM speed.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (5, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359415)

"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook."

You'd have better luck waiting for Duke Nuke- ...er..wait.. guess we can't use that one anymore.

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359461)

It shows group affiliation, which means people who agree with the original poster will be more likely to see the summary favorably and comment.

Nothing says 'I am part of the group' then demonstrating 'see, I hate the same things all the other cool kids hate! Lets go push some nerds in the mud!'

Re:"I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook." (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359521)

My guess: There wasn't enough meat to the blurb otherwise, so the editor posting it had to come up with something to flesh it out, and it's tough work to come up with something clever on the spot. :)

Lol... (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359175)

Professionals can now work on the go ... a boost with the 128 MB RAM memory

Exactly what professional can work with such little RAM?
I don't even think you could connect to a VM properly with that...

Re:Lol... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359245)

if you'd like ssh terminals in every room of your house, this is a pretty affordable way to do it.

these things were 100 bucks a while ago minimum. I guess you could get something beefier with 100 bucks now.

Re:Lol... (4, Interesting)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359259)

I think you're just trolling. Why would you need more than 128MB to connect to a VM, that'd be a simple dumb terminal... I'm pretty sure dumb terminals at that resolution can run just fine with those specs.

Re:Lol... (5, Funny)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359667)

Why would you need more than 128MB to connect to a VM, that'd be a simple dumb terminal... I'm pretty sure dumb terminals at that resolution can run just fine with those specs.

Once Corporate IT gets ahold of it, it'll need 4GB and a couple of cores just to keep up with Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Re:Lol... (4, Funny)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359769)

We need a moderation option for "+1 Sad Reality"

Re:Lol... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359835)

Funny is often used for that purpose.

Re:Lol... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359297)

RDP/VNC/X11 could all run fine on that, past that 128mb wont even load a modern web browser displaying a moderately complex web page.

Re:Lol... (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359759)

Professionals can now work on the go ... a boost with the 128 MB RAM memory

Exactly what professional can work with such little RAM?

I don't even think you could connect to a VM properly with that...

I've run databases, web servers, mail servers all on a Linux machine with less RAM. With the right tuning it should be possible to get something usable on there.

Of course RAM is cheap so why not just add a little more?

Terrible deal (2)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359185)

Go on craigslist and pick up one for 0-50 dollars. It will be no speed demon, but should be plenty to run a light weight distro or XP.

Re:Terrible deal (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359427)

Not very useful, if your plan is to make a Beowulf cluster.

It will be a while before a sub-$50 computer is truly available. When I say available, I mean that I can order 300 of them now, and they'll be shipped today.

The closest is the Raspberry Pi computers off Ebay. They go for about $80 (even though they are frequently referred to as $25 or $35 computers). Unfortunately, $80 is more than $50, and there are not 300+ of them available on Ebay.

Re:Terrible deal (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359563)

It will be a while before a sub-$50 computer is truly available.

Intel could probably do it with the Atom if they wanted to, but for some reason they continue positioning Atom-based platforms as if they were competitive with Bobcat, which they clearly aren't. Where they might be able to stand out is by making a single-board x86 PC that includes 1GB or so of soldered-in DDR SDRAM, and ~40GB of solid state storage also on-board.

Re:Terrible deal (2)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359609)

Did you read what I posted? What I am saying is that you can literally go onto craigslist right at this moment and find loads of 50 dollar computers that you can go and buy and hook into your Beowulf cluster this afternoon; no Raspberry Pi required. 50 dollar computers already exist in abundance on the used market. Raspberry Pi is cool, but it is still nowhere near the best value. The best value is your stupid neighbor, cousin, uncle, friend's old PC who just bought a new MBP when their old HP's power supply died. If you know what a Raspberry Pi is, then you should be familiar enough with computers to fix a nearly endless supply of free/cheap computers floating around in your area that nobody wants anymore.

Re:Terrible deal (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359757)

You can find lots of various computers on Craigslist. I will not argue that point. I will argue that they will not be identical, though, and building a beowulf cluster from such machines is all but impossible. Even the trouble of contacting hundreds of craigslist sellers and meeting them in person would push the cost well above $50 each (considering time as money).

But, I have to admit, I did not RTFA well enough. If you follow the trail of links, you finally arrive here [ebay.com] I've removed the part of the URL that generated advertising revenue for the person making the article.

The Windows CE netbook in the article is available now, and is available in large quantity (1200+ have sold already). It does not have a hard drive, but still meets the criteria that I established in my post above. I guess I have to now eat my words.

Re:Terrible deal (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359843)

Value of the Pi isn't in the processor, it's in the video decoder and HDMI driver.

Only point in a Raspberry cluster is if you have a "wall of monitors" app.

Re:Terrible deal (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40360035)

There's an oft repeated phrase that comes to mind: "It's only Free if you don't value your time". Spend a few hours learning one configuration and then deploying to 300 identical machines vs. spending a few dollars to obtain 300 junkers off of ebay/craigslist that now require refurbishing, formatting, checking to see what distro will support each hardware configuration, etc etc etc. I've been down this road and it sucks.

Re:Terrible deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359729)

It would not be a macbook it would at best a powerbook... its like calling a cow a horse.

Don't dismiss this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359191)

This laptop comes with a Retina display*

*user must stand 7 feet away from the screen

Re:Don't dismiss this (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359737)

AND must have macular degeneration

START USING PERIODS NOW (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359195)

The search for a cheap laptop has brought us news from India of a 10$ laptop which later turned out to be a hundred dollars, today PC Gaming News has details of a laptop which is selling for a measly 45 dollars, what do you get for that, you get a netbook running windows embedded compact 7, 128 megs of ram, a via8505 processor and a 7 inch screen capable of 800x480 pixels resolution.

Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

Squishy (1)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359201)

Netbook...800x480 pixels resolution.

I feel like I haven't horizontal scrolled in ages.

it requires a contract but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359203)

you can get Android phones/iPhone 3gs for $0. You have to pay for data, but at least you can make calls... and they come with more ram, more resolution, and a usable OS!

Re:it requires a contract but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359309)

with a nice 2 year contract.

Re:it requires a contract but... (1)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359505)

Pay as you Go!

£10 a month gets me 250 minutes of free any network calls, unlimited SMS and "unlimited" data. Calls or texts to someone on the same network are completely free and don't take anything from the allowance. They're just setting up automatic topups so it's as good as a contract but you can just cancel it whenever you like.

Re:it requires a contract but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359913)

This plan would be $85 a month in the US.

Re:it requires a contract but... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359583)

Not for such an outdated device. Lots of those are free to good homes.

$50 macbook (0)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359217)

Great idea. Of course what Apple really needs is a MBP with 2 bits of RAM and a 10x5 screen. Texas Instruments will be quaking in their boots.

This will be awful (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359227)

The VIA8505 SoC is a AWFUL chip. I have a tablet based one of these running Android and it SUCKS.

Maybe the editors could actually read submissions? (5, Informative)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359235)

This is an eBay sale of a discontinued netbook.

As somebody pointed out, if you wanted a $50 netbook, they can look on Craigslist or eBay themselves.

Nothing new or interesting here,

myke

Re:Maybe the editors could actually read submissio (-1, Redundant)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359337)

This is an eBay sale of a discontinued netbook.

As somebody pointed out, if you wanted a $50 netbook, they can look on Craigslist or eBay themselves.

Nothing new or interesting here,

myke

OK .. your ID is a lot smaller than my ID, so you should have been around /. longer than me, yet you ask that the editors read the submissions? What gives?

  • Did you time travel from a point in the past where /. editors did read the submissions?
  • Are you from an alternate universe?
  • Have you been in a coma for 10 years?
  • Or perhaps you bought you /. ID on eBay - and it was going for a song because people are bailing on /.?

Re:Maybe the editors could actually read submissio (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359739)

Did you time travel from a point in the past where /. editors did read the submissions?

We all did. We traveled at 1 Day/Day. We haven't figured out how to go at any other speed, that's all.

Re:Maybe the editors could actually read submissio (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359381)

I could probably find someone throwing out computers with specs like that and get it for $0.

128 RAM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359243)

Sorry, there is no way. Windows needs at least 256 RAM just for the license agreement, and that's in DOS.

Re:128 RAM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359551)

You're confused. They're talking about Windows, not Linux. Windows memory management is fine.

VIA 8505 is a Pentium? (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359247)

Someone should probably tell Intel; Their legal dept might be interested.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359267)

... but isn't Windows 7 Embedded Compact the new name for what used to be called (much more appropriately) WinCE?

In other words, this is an almost-useless piece of junk that runs a nearly dead operating system that is being dropped by MS in its next version.

I bought something very similar in the UK for about £30 a couple of years ago. It was useless then, it'll be useless now.

The specs are reasonable, for the price. (1)

evorster (2664141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359277)

I might be showing my age a little here, but I remember 640kb being enough for an OS, and windows 95 comfortably fit in 16mb of ram a few years later.
Provided that you are not running a resource-hungry OS, and your applications have been coded properly, this netbook should run just fine.
If you want more serious performance/power, you have to pay serious money. As always, you get what you pay for!

Re:The specs are reasonable, for the price. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359419)

Ahh grasshopper. You must be new here.

I remember when it was 64K (sixty four thousand) for the OS. And we liked it.

Floppy disks.
300 baud modems.
80 x 25 character screens.
Patching Wordstar with a hex editor.

50 cent per gallon gasoline.
Bell bottoms.

Sex.

You kids don't realize how good things are.

Re:The specs are reasonable, for the price. (1)

evorster (2664141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359483)

Yup, I heard stories of the hippie days from the old timers.
Sounds like a much happier time, too. When & why did we lose out on that?

Re:The specs are reasonable, for the price. (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359617)

You're standing on my grass-covered escarpment youngster.
I'm going to get out-grey-bearded for sure, but at least I can get my toe in.

MODEMs? We used to call them acoustic couplers and that was only because we'd seen them at a distance.
Our computers had 1KB of RAM (about a page of A4) to run programs in and the OS was in a chip. The Z80 CPU was always considered modern, every time a new microcomputer with it in came out.

I never asked what specs my wooden Atari games machine had ...

Battery (2)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359285)

Cheap mobile devices like these (including cheap portable DVD players) save money by skimping on batteries and going with NiMH instead of Lithium Ion. I would be surprised if this netbook could run for two hours off of its batteries.

Re:Battery (1, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359487)

Why cant they skimp more and make it a feature. use 6 AA batteries. LET the buyer go out and get his own batteries. That way it adds a significant amount of useful to the thing. Plus all the survivalist nuts would be all over it.

What year is it again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359301)

2009?

What part of this is news?

Re:What year is it again? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359511)

I was wondering if anyone else noticed this. The article is dated from June 15 2009. Is that a typo, and should read June 15 2012? If not, this is pretty old, even by slashdot standards.

But will it run Linux? (0)

bobbied (2522392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359323)

I wonder how long until we would have a Linux distribution for this little gem. I'll bet that Linux runs faster....

I've got one smaller! (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359333)

I've got a "laptop" that's about 2 1/2 x 4 inches or so, runs Android, and doubles as a phone... Wait... It *IS* a phone!

No Just No (2)

Fallingwater (1465567) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359339)

WonderMedia WMwhatever processors are INCREDIBLY slow. I have a tablet powered by a WM8650, which is the improved version of he WM8505 the article talks about, and you're always waiting on the CPU to slowly do its thing - both on Android and Debian. It also has 256 megs of RAM, which is about a fourth of what you need for proper general computing nowadays. And this one has even less.
The WM8505 might be ok for embedded stuff, but as a CPU for general computing, especially with such little RAM and *especially* if it's running Windows, it's really worse than nothing - at least with nothing you go do something else, instead of twiddling your fingers while you wait for the damn thing to display a webpage or something.

Could be an intersting device. (3, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359341)

Interesting, and inbelievably cheap - not just becasue of the Windows license fee; no idea how much they pay for that. It's Windows CE so linking to the normal Win7 retail prices doesn't make sense.

OS: Windows CE. Never worked with that, no idea on the interface. Should include a browser, assume IE. But what version for WinCE?

Storage: not mentioned. Is this a "true" netbook as in can only do web browsing and web apps? Price could imply no local storage indeed, other than for the embedded OS. The ebay [ebay.com] listing has no details at all. They are selling, shipping US only.

Install other OS? Well if no external storage, good luck with that.

Install applications? No mention about this. No external storage could be an issue there.

Form factor looks like the EEEPC 701 series, that's not too bad. It has a higher screen resolution. I like the overall idea. I'm still regularly using that EEEPC, almost exclusively for web browsing. It's sitting on the dining table, quick to grab, small enough to not be in the way too much, light enough to move around with one hand.

what happened to the netbook market? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359347)

A few years ago, newegg listed several hundred types of netbooks. I bought one for $275 that has a 12 inch screen, full sized keyboard, and 1300x768 screen, and 64 bit CPU. It's fast enough to run things like LibreOffice no problem.

Now? The only netbooks I see listed have tiny 1024x600 resolution, are 10 inch with reduced size keyboards, and have less memory. To get a machine comparable to the one I bought, I need to look at laptops, and the cheapest ones with those specs seem to be about $500.

So I have to pay almost twice the price now for the same kind of machine. It seems like most mfgs stopped making good netbooks for some reason. No, a tablet isn't a replacement for my netbook - it doesn't have a keyboard and probably won't run my x64 based Linux distro.

What happened?

Re:what happened to the netbook market? (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359395)

Laptop sales declined by the amount that netbook sales increased. Laptops are more profitable than netbooks. At least, that's my assumption.

Re:what happened to the netbook market? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359535)

More likely smartphones and tablets filled much (but not all) of the consumer demand that netbooks were intended to address, so the market for them shrunk rapidly. It is also possible manufacturers were overly enthusiastic and flooded a market that didn't have the capacity for them in the first place.

If it was simply 'we stopped making them because laptops are more profitable and netbooks were doing too well' then whichever manufacturer continued to supply netbooks would have made a killing. Companies stop making things when there isn't enough demand to justify the cost (though, of course, marketing miscalculations and group-think can scramble things).

Re:what happened to the netbook market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359469)

What happened? The iPad happened. Customers are shifting away from PCs of all types as the move to mobile computing accelerates.

Re:what happened to the netbook market? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359863)

What happened? The iPad happened. Customers are shifting away from PCs of all types as the move to mobile computing accelerates.

I'll believe that when someone I know buys a tablet. I've seen a few people using them, but I've seen hundreds of times as many people using desktop PCs and laptops.

12" is a laptop (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359723)

I bought one for $275 that has a 12 inch screen, full sized keyboard, and 1300x768 screen, and 64 bit CPU.

That's a laptop.

The only netbooks I see listed have tiny 1024x600 resolution, are 10 inch with reduced size keyboards

I thought one of the defining characteristics of a netbook was a smaller screen. But most of these newer 10" laptops appear to support 64-bit instructions.

Capability (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359353)

If it's "capable" of 800x400, does that means sometimes it displays less? So, it's a CRT?!

Yes, I am in pedant mode.

Can't wait to see so-called "gamers" buy this (5, Interesting)

GerbilSoft (761537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359363)

From the article:

Powered by a Pentium processor

Processsor Type: VIA 8505

Not only did they get the company wrong, it's not even x86 architecture. VIA 8505 is ARM-based. This isn't even including the fact that it runs Windows CE (aka Windows Embedded Compact), so standard Win32 programs wouldn't run on it, even if compiled for ARM.

Re:Can't wait to see so-called "gamers" buy this (5, Informative)

GerbilSoft (761537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359407)

Bonus round: Some editor got duped into posting a slashvertisement for an eBay auction. The netbook in question has been available from Amazon since August 2010. (Not the exact model number, but besides running Windows CE 6.0 instead of Windows Embedded Compact 7, the specs are the same.)

http://www.amazon.com/SYNET7WID-7-Inch-Wireless-Mobile/dp/B003ZYUCDS [amazon.com]

Re:Can't wait to see so-called "gamers" buy this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359555)

Of course the gamers will buy this! What other hardware would you use to play Angry Birds!?

And I think that's about it. (-1, Flamebait)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359365)

This is a slashdot story about an ebay auction of a discontinued crapbook that I've seen for sale in hardware and drug stores. I think it's time to just give up on this place. This is fucking terrible.

Re:And I think that's about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359935)

Goodbye.

I assume it's similar to this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359367)

$45 laptop that runs windows? Check craigslist...

http://www.theonion.com/video/ford-unveils-new-car-for-cashstrapped-buyers-the-1,14381/

Not "Windows" in any meaningful sense (5, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359489)

I saw this same (or very similar) model on sale at the local CVS. One reason it's so cheap is that it doesn't run "Windows" in any meaningful sense. It runs an embedded-system OS that is called Windows, but isn't compatible with any existing Windows software. (Look for much more of this kind of confusion with the upcoming WinRT for ARM.) Furthermore, since this netbook doesn't have an x86 processor, it can't run the real version of Windows.

Re:Not "Windows" in any meaningful sense (4, Informative)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359749)

I saw this same (or very similar) model on sale at the local CVS.

I'm pretty sure this is the Sylvania netbook that appeared in 2010 for $99 at CVS [informationweek.com] . Reviewers were not kind about it, but the novelty of buying a $99 computer at a drug store was sort of fun. It's no surprise that 21 months later it's dropped under $50.

These little craptops have always intrigued me, and it's just a matter of time before someone puts out one in the under-$100 range that's not entirely terrible. There's this guy [ebay.com] that is available new from lots of ebay sites (I chose this one at random and am not endorsing it). It runs Android 2.2 and sports 256 mb of RAM. I haven't seen any kind words about it and from the specs it's likely still terrible, but you're starting to approach something respectable. It's not that far from being a 7" version of the Efika MX SmartBook [genesi-usa.com] , which isn't a world beater by any stretch, but which is light and fanless and runs Linux and sort of harks back to what was fun about early netbook.

Re:Not "Windows" in any meaningful sense (2)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359807)

this netbook doesn't have an x86 processor, it can't run the real version of Windows

So try this: install Debian (if on Android or Maemo, possibly in a chroot), grab the new multiarchized versions of wine that just hit unstable, install qemu-user. Way too slow for modern bloatware, but you can run 95/98 era software adequately.

It's a netbook, not a laptop (1)

thisisfutile (2640809) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359653)

I never would have read this if it said, "$45 dollar Windows Netbook".

Well-founded arguments need precise definitions (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359767)

If you're going to make a distinction [wikipedia.org] between two product classes, you're going to need to tell us how you define the difference so that the debate doesn't collapse [c2.com] . As a first approximation, I define a laptop as a computer with a built-in keyboard suitable for touch typing and a screen that folds down to cover the keyboard when not in use, and I define a netbook as a laptop with a small screen.

Re:Well-founded arguments need precise definitions (1)

thisisfutile (2640809) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359995)

Laptop and notebook have been synonymous for a long time and therefore when I see laptop I interchange it with notebook. A netbook, like you state, is small but it's also limited in what it can do compared to laptops/notebooks and therefore the price will be smaller compared to a laptop/notebook.

You are actually waiting for your 1st Service Pack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359709)

Buy a Raspberry PI, better OS, less clutter.

"tailbacks"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40359799)

From the pc-gaming page:

"...this Sylvania netbook lets you work on multiple applications simultaneously, without any tailbacks."

What the heck is a "tailback"?

This is not new, they used to be $99 (3, Informative)

davydagger (2566757) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359841)

and utter crap. ARM class CPU is locked to windows CE. the specs if I recall are a 350mhz cpu, 128 mb of ram, 4-8 Gb storage, USB 1.1, and a useless 800x480 display. Utterly worthless. I tried researching instructions for installing linux, not easy. All for trash grade hardware. If you did want a slick arm based netbook try: https://www.genesi-usa.com/ [genesi-usa.com]

Windows CE == crap, laptop too slow for video (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359887)

a friend got a "netbook" with the same hardware, windows CE 6.0. a "Tec T-book". All software outdated, very few of it (wordpad, calculator and that's all), no apparent way to install software - you can browse web archives for old PDA software meant to run on resolutions below 320x240, but what to do with it?

then, the CPU is too slow for smooth playback of SD divx. you can probably play mp3, but on a lame version of windows media player, I prefer a winamp clone. Internet Explorer on it is like browsing with a 486 under windows 3.1. There's was a youtube app! but it was broken, hard-wired to how youtube was a few years ago, it couldn't load or display anything.

it's a total rip off and my friend had paid 79 euros for this. but interestingly, it has better connectivity that a macbook air : three USB, two audio jacks, SD and ethernet! purportedly you can install Android 1.x on it. too bad my buddy got it stolen, I would have tried to do it, and install busybox or something. it can be interesting for a machine only used to ssh in other machines.

now the best about it : it's incredibly light, solid state and fanless. its keyboard and LCD are standard quality - because they are no factories making terrible versions of them. so the display, helped by its small size looked excellent. So, it was both the worst computer ever and had something to it! I noticed a remotely similar computer : Efila MX smartbook, it's 189 euros but has 10", 800MHz ARM cortex, 3G modem, 512MB memory, 16GB flash, good keyboard. It looks awesome and thin, but you lose the ethernet port which is a tragedy.

Add linux or android... (2)

ilikenwf (1139495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359937)

And the price will come down another $10-20...

Comparing Apples to Oranges (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40359943)

"...selling for a measly 45 dollars, what do you get for that, you get a netbook running windows embedded compact 7, 128 megs of ram, a via8505 processor and a 7 inch screen capable of 800x480 pixels resolution." I'm still waiting for my under $50 Macbook.

You're still waiting for a $50 Macbook? I'm still waiting for anyone to actually call that $45 mess a functional computer. 128 megs of RAM would hardly run the (very necessary) anti-virus software for Windows.

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