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-imaging 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. 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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