Thursday, May 20, 2010

The cheapest new netbook out there

Browsing through, there is one, and only one, really affordable netbook out there: The LY-EB01. This is a tiny 7 inch netbook with an ARM processor running Windows CE, complete with an ancient version of Internet Explorer and a version of Word that doesn’t even include a spell checker.

A number of $100 netbooks have been promised over the years (starting with the computer that inspired the Netbook revolution, the OLPC computer); this is the first $100 netbook to make it to market.

I think this netbook would make a nice little platform for running Linux. It might not be possible to run Firefox on this critter, but Dillo should run fine (heck, Dillo runs reasonably well on a mid-1990s netbook-sized Gateway Handbook 486 with only 20 megs of ram and 150 megs of hard disk space). FVWM1 should run just fine; I wouldn’t try running Gnome on this critter.

This would be a good little computer for editing documents with vi and posting to Usenet using your favorite text-based Usenet client (wait, no one uses Usenet anymore...), as well as reading email using Pine, or Alpine these days.

Unfortunately, no one has bothered making a Linux port for this platform yet. NetBSD might get a port before Linux has one.

There are a number of used and “refurbished” netbooks in the $100-$200 range; the next price point for a brand new Netbook is $230 for an eMachines Netbook.