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Vodafone Launches Cheapo ARM Laptop But Not In UK

Vodafone has started to sell an ARM-based laptop in South Africa via its Vodacom subsidiary for as little as R1499 or roughly £135; sadly though we've received confirmation that the device - which Vodafone calls a Webbook (like Elonex) won't be on sale in the UK for the foreseeable future.

We don't know what processor powers the laptop but it looks a lot like a traditional netbook and sports 512MB RAM and 4GB onboard storage, just like the first Netbook on the market, the Asus Eee PC 101 three years ago.

The laptop runs on Ubuntu and comes with a two year warranty. From the stock photos, we can see that it has USB ports, a 10.1-inch screen (probably a 1024x600 pixel one), a webcam and what seems like a decent keyboard.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical CEO, said, “we are delighted to provide the operating system for the Vodafone Webbook. Ubuntu’s founding principle is to remove the barriers of access to computing for everyone, and products like this give hope of connectivity to people all over the world.”

Strangely enough the laptop is labelled Vodafone rather than Vodacom which leaves us to believe that the mobile phone operator may, at some point in the future, choose to introduce it elsewhere.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.