Cherrypal Africa Netbook: The World's "First" $99 Laptop

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News Posted: Wed, Dec 16 2009 12:19 PM
OLPC tried its best to come out with a $100 (or so) notebook, but afterall was said and done, it failed. Cherrypal is known for producinglow-cost wares, and now it's claiming that it has just launched theplanet's first $99 laptop. Sure, you can pick up small notebooksoverseas for less than $100, but no mainstream US-based machine has hitthe level until now.

You may remember this company as responsible for producing the world's"greenest desktop computer," and today it's launching its first $99netbook. Oddly, the machine is titled "Africa," and unlike some of themodern Eee PCs, this one has a screen that's only 7". Of course, youshouldn't expect much more for $99, but hey, it's a $99 notebook!

Specifications include a 400MHz processor, 256GB of storage, 2GB ofmemory and the ability to run Linux or Windows CE operating systems.You'll notice that these specifications are weaker than somesmartphones, but if you only need to browse the web and work on theoccasional document, this just might do the trick. Whatever the case,we're glad that the pricing barrier has been lowered--now let's justget those specifications up to where they need to be and we'll be set!



"At Cherrypal, we're extremely conscious of the so-called 'digitaldivide'," said Max Seybold, the company's founder. "We're constantlylooking for ways to bridge that gap, and the Cherrypal Africa is a hugestep in the right direction. Plus, everyone who has tried it hasabsolutely loved it!"

Namedafter Cherrypal's recent community building initiative in Ghana, theAfrica packs quite a punch for its size and price point. The computerruns on a 400 MHz processor and features 256 GB RAM, 2 GB flash memoryand can run either Linux or Windows CE operating systems.

TheAfrica isn't just user friendly - it's also environmentally friendly.From top to bottom, Cherrypal designs all of its computers to consumethe least amount of power possible, while using fewer parts than othermanufacturers. This saves electricity and keeps excess computerbyproducts out of landfills. The company is also aware of its owncarbon footprint and relies on wind energy to power its website.

Alongwith the launch of the Africa, Cherrypal has also redesigned the new13.3-inch widescreen Bing laptop. Priced at only $389 (includingWindows XP), the Intel N280-based (1.6 GHz operation) Bing features 1GB DDRII memory, 160 GB HDD, 1.3 MP integrated web camera and much,much more.

The CherrypalBing and Cherrypal Africa can both be purchased through the recentlylaunched Cherrypal Open Store, which features products designed byApple, Dell and others. All non-Cherrypal products featured in the OpenStore are priced at least 30 percent less than the manufacturer'ssuggested retail price, but carry Cherrypal's unconditional 30-daymoney back guarantee.

To browse all of Cherrypal's affordable green machines, visit www.cherrypal.com.


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3vi1 replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 4:36 PM

Okay, here's why they're not telling you the specs (which seem to be thoroughly hidden on their site):

It uses a (non-x86) ARM CPU. That's why you see "can run either Linux or Windows CE operating systems".

If you're a Linux user - no big deal, The vast majority of Linux apps aren't affected by architecture changes, because they can practically all be recompiled from source on any platform.

But, if you're a Windows-only user, you can't run *any* standard Windows apps on this thing. You can't even use Wine in Linux to run Windows apps on it (Wine Is No Emulator - it won't translate the x86 opcodes to ARM).  It wonder if there's even a suitable version of the closed source Adobe Flash for it (though a free replacement like gnash might work for some uses).

The CPU speed choice is puzzling... It probably handles a much higher speed but has been underclocked for battery life. Even the ARM CPU in the iPhone is clocked higher than this.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Super Dave replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 12:58 AM

It bears an uncanny resemblance to the 1995 Toshiba Satellite Pro!



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ClemSnide replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 5:53 AM

Well, don't think of it as a crippled notebook, think of it as a PDA with a big screen and a real keyboard. WinCE, though... why, god, why?

Hey, I'm sure there are Linux music players that'll run on this-- the 256 GB mentioned above is a typo; it actually comes with 256 MB of RAM and a 2 GB flash drive, but has a SD/MMC slot for up to 8 GB more (they claim), and a USB 2.0 port for thumb drives. Maybe you can just think of it as a kickin' MP3 player! Shoot, if you shrink a MPEG down to 800x480, you can get a full length movie on that much storage. And since text takes up next to no space at all, it can also be your eBook reader.

Once it can run World of Warcraft, let me know.


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 10:28 AM

>> Hey, I'm sure there are Linux music players that'll run on this-

Tons. I stream music to Linux on my PS3 (non-x86 CPU, 256MB RAM), all the time.

>> Once it can run World of Warcraft, let me know.

It'll never be able to run WoW though. The only way to run the x86 code would be under QEmu, and it would be _slow_ given that CPU speed. Especially considering there's no 3D accelerated video hardware in the thing.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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realneil replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 11:32 AM

It's a $100.00 solution for some people. Maybe it will sell.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 12:46 PM

Agreed. At $100 it's still a value... great laptop/browser for kids.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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ClemSnide replied on Sat, Dec 19 2009 1:21 AM

>It'll never be able to run WoW though.

Yeah. Sorry. I forgot the smiley faces which tell people that the preceding text was facetious. .)


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3vi1 replied on Mon, Dec 21 2009 2:32 PM

Oh, I knew you knew better - I just wanted to make sure nobody else got their hopes up. :)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Joel H replied on Wed, Dec 23 2009 11:40 AM

Only if you hate your children. :P Why would anyone give their kids such a POS--can you imagine the whining when it can't run anything at Disney.com, or play movies well? At $99, this is some kind of value for someone who knows how to work around the fact that it's a non-x86 CPU, etc.

For a kid? This is like asking for a PS3, and getting socks.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Dec 23 2009 3:11 PM

>> Only if you hate your children.

So, you've met my children.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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3vi1:

>> Only if you hate your children.

So, you've met my children.

lol

 

Also this seems kind of cool. You could say the same about a netbook. It can't run a lot of stuff, but my little bro seems to love his and I enjoy mine. Sure you can't do everything with them, but if you understand the limits that it has there is a lot that you can do with these things. I mean for $99 why not have one and leave it on your end table so you can browse the forums and what not on the couch. Not everyone can afford even the $300 that a netbook cost and I do see value in a PC like this.

Speed is not everything. The touch screens at work that I use to punch in orders run a 266 AMD K6 CPU with 128MB of ram and a version of Linux called squirrel linux. You know what. I never wait on those thing or get annoyed because they are slow because they are plenty fast for what they do.

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Joel H replied on Thu, Dec 24 2009 2:37 AM

Note that I specifically said: "if you know how to work around the limitations of the platform."

Kids don't know how to do that and I'm *really* uninterested in re-learning how to do it every time some moronic company publishes "Clifford The Big Red Dog Flash Game XI" (Don't laugh--I saw my 5 year-old nephew playing such a game today) :P

Can old hardware (or new hardware that runs like old hardware) still be useful? Of course. Windows 95 and Word 95 would run just fine on that K6-266 you've got with 128MB of RAM. But are these pieces of technology I'd actually want to use? No. Use if I had to, maybe. But not otherwise.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Dec 28 2009 2:16 PM

Hopefully it won't turn into this type of antique by the time it gets to market.

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cherrypal replied on Fri, Jan 15 2010 10:42 AM

There is something wrong with this cherrypal-story!

Read here and watch out...

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gibbersome replied on Fri, Jan 15 2010 11:25 AM

The specs actually look pretty solid, now if only they'd upgrade their processor and sell a $150 version.

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Cherrypal Africa is a total SCAM! Max Seybold is a liar! Someone needs to tell the truth about this company. Google "Cherrypal SCAM" or check with the Better Business Bureau for the list of complaints. If you order anything from Cherrypal they will keep your money and NOT send you a product!

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