Sub-$100 quad-core PCs appear

The ZealZ GK802 is the first mainstream computer on the global market that costs less than $100 and sports a quad-core system-on-chip.

At $99 (around £60), it is a stunning piece of kit that has roughly the same performance as the Samsung Galaxy S3. Geekbuying, Aliexpress and DX.com are some of the few companies that sell the GK802.

The latter is powered by a Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chip. It integrates four Cortex A9 cores and is clocked at 1.2GHz; there’s also a quad-core VivanteGC2000 GPU which should be competitive with other rival solutions.

Other features include 1GB of RAM, 8GB onboard storage, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a USB 2.0 and microUSB (for power), Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, support for Google Play, 2.4GHz wireless keyboard and mouse and even Ubuntu.

The device is slightly bigger than a packet of chewing gum, weighs a mere 50g and is the ideal partner to a wireless keyboard/touchpad combo.

2013 is likely to see a massive rise in the number of quad-core solutions based on cheaper Cortex-A7 solutions from Mediatek, Allwinner or Rockchip. These in turn will push dual-core products into entry level, sounding the death knell of single-core products in mobile.