esterday, 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 ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
Subscribe to the Week