US-based Cherrypal has presented a new mini laptop called the Africa which was apparently designed with developing countries in mind and has a price tag to match it, at $99 per unit.
The device, whose description is small, slow and sufficient, has already attracted some criticisms for not being too slow for an adequate computing experience. African comes with a 7-inch 800x480 screen, a Samsung ARM-based CPU running at 400MHz, 256MB memory, 2GB Flash storage, Windows CE and a battery that lasts up to four hours.
The smartbook (yep, it's not a netbook) is also apparently environmentally friendly and should also come with a SD card reader, WiFi, two USB ports, a pair of speakers and an Ethernet port.
Max Seybold, the company's founder, said in a statement that "At Cherrypal, we're extremely conscious of the so-called 'digital divide'; We're constantly looking for ways to bridge that gap, and the Cherrypal Africa is a huge step in the right direction. Plus, everyone who has tried it has absolutely loved it!"
Cherrypal has also announced the availability of the Bing - not related to Chandler Bing or to Microsoft's Bing - which is a 13.3-inch Intel Atom based laptop which comes with 1GB RAM, 160GB hard disk drive, a webcam, Windows XP and a few more bits, all for $389.
There will be a market for a $99 laptop - remember the OLPC, $100 laptop from a few years ago? - well the Cherrypal Africa might not have the best specifications on the market, but at least someone is trying and looking for a niche market to thrive.