Yesterday, a Hong Kong-based company called Cherrypal surprised the world by announcing that it is coming to market with a sub-$100 PC — a long-awaited development in the world of low-end computing. The machine, which is named "Africa," is an ultra-basic laptop with a 7-inch screen, a 400-MhZ processor, and a lithium battery good for four hours of use. According to Cherrypal, Africa is both "environmentally friendly" and a perfect way to give the poor access to the internet. Will the $99 laptop change the world?
At last, it's here: "We've been hearing about the '$100 laptop'...for years," says Jeff Bertolucci at PC World. Finally, it has "materialized." But American consumers should keep in mind that the machine will be "woefully underpowered for the types of Web tasks we take for granted." Nonetheless, it "may have a bright future in the world's less developed regions."
"The $99 laptop debuts"
Still not the best option for budget green buyers: The product is intriguing for many reasons, says Jaymi Heimbuch at TreeHugger. But for environmentally-aware consumers, the better choice would be to find a $100 used notebook "on Craigslist." Not only will you get a more powerful machine, it's also the "greener" choice.
"Wait...Cherrypal is back?!"
We know exactly what to expect: I'm not going to buy one of these laptops "and neither are you," says Harry McCracken at Technologizer. But kudos to Cherrypal for their "refreshingly honest" desciption of the product as "slow" and a "no-thrills" PC. But, as the company also says, it seems "sufficient" to meet the needs of many people in developing countries for whom "even $99 is going to be a stretch."
"Cherrypal's $99 laptop: Small! Slow! Sufficient!"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- 10 things you need to know today: July 28, 2014
Subscribe to the Week