CherryPal Announces $99 Africa Smartbook

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.

Obviously, it does remind us of the ElonexOne which is essentially the same thing but attracted a £99 pricetag from Elonex. You can buy the Africa from CherryPal's wind-powered website.

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.

Our Comments

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.

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