Photo via nDevilTV via Flickr CC
About a year ago, you may have remembered coverage about the Cherrypal, a tiny PC that promised to sip just 2 watts of power. You might also remember how customers' dreams of owning one seemed to evaporate, along with the company and any news about what in the world was going on with placed orders. We didn't hear about anyone actually receiving a Cherrypal, and even on their wikipedia page, there are questions about whether or not the company was even still in business. Well, turns out they are, and they're back with a new toy - an energy-sipping PC priced at just $100. PC World - a highly reputable source when it comes to computer news - reports that Cherrypal has produced a new product and promises that customers ordering it will receive it within two weeks of placing their bet...I mean, order.
The PC is called the Cherrypal Africa, and it uses hardware typically found in smart phones to run either Linux or Windows CE, also usually found in smart phones. In other words, they created a really big smart phone that can also be called a netbook. Sure it can count as a PC, but it's a (admitted even by Cherrypal founder Max Seybold) slow one.
The Cherrypal Africa is named such because the company feels it's an affordable option for developing countries and very low income groups. But, unless extraordinarily constrained by finances, one might be well advised to shell out an extra one or two hundred dollars and order a higher quality netbook from a reputable supplier. Or, still spend your $100 and find a used (but still better than this one) on Craigslist. Doing that alone would get you a greener cheap netbook.
However, if you're feeling lucky, the Cherrypal Africa has a 400MHz CPU (very slow compared to nettops equipped with Intel processors), 256MB of RAM, and a 2GB flashdrive for storage. It also is equipped with integrated wireless and wired networking. The battery provides a relatively paltry four hours of run time. We were unable to find information about the power consumption for this netbook, or if it has any real green features like EPEAT certification or Energy Star ratings. Or even PC Magazine's own Green Tech approval.
Not the best specs, but it is just $100. We recommend waiting until a lot of customers have received, and reviewed, this product before laying your money down. If you can, that is. As of this writing, their online store from the "Buy Now" button wasn't even working. It gives a nice fat 404 error. You need to go to this link to set up an account and purchase a product.
Even with all the hubbub from the previous computer, customers supposedly started receiving their PCs.
According to PC World, "Those were problems in the past, Seybold said. "When we launched in July of 2008 we were sold out after only a couple of hours. It took us a while to get our supply chain and procurement process working. If somebody orders today they have the unit within two weeks, guaranteed," Seybold said."
Looks like there are still big reasons to distrust the company. Here are some options for much more reliable netbooks that are still completely affordable.
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