Really Small Cheap Computers

I clicked on one of the ads at the top of my blog and found I was surrounded by small cheap computers. At 7 inches I found tablets as cheap as $86 CDN. So it’s not the latest and greatest – 4 hours battery life, 800MHz ARM11, Android 2.1, 256MB RAM and resistive touch screen.

Devices like these may be clearance inventory in places but people are still building them and selling them for around $100.

Good fun. Does anyone think the latest and greatest is worth 5 times as much? How many of these do you think the world is selling for every $500 PC (ATX case, Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse)? Young/poor globally will snap up one of these instantly in comparison. I have read that some will do anything for an iPad but others can do a bit of labour and be connected much more easily.

These could be a great option for schools looking to have a 1:1 ratio of students:PCs. They could be affordable just on the paper they would save. An elementary teacher might give 7 sheets of 8.5X11 to each of 30 students 180 times (37800 sheets=8 cases) in a school year. Considering freight, break-even is one year. If the teacher can keep the little darlings from breaking the thing and it lasts two years, costs for paper/tablets are cut in two. Go for it. Keep a bit of paper on hand for penmanship… If the consumption of paper is half as much, break-even is two years. It still can work and these things can do things paper cannot like interact.

These things will fit in a large pocket or any kind of bag and have a mass of the order of 400g. You cannot beat the portability.

The price is getting to the point where another couple of billion people can afford one. That matters. For less than the price of a licence for that other OS, a person can be connected to the wireless world and the “digital divide” goes away. This will boost many economies because suppliers and consumers can find each other and optimize production/distribution of important things like food and equipment. I would bet China is exploding with these gadgets. In Africa, many may still be too poor to afford these but collectively they can find a way.

“Worldwide shipments of white-box tablets were 1.9 million in the first quarter this year, up from 567,000 units in the fourth quarter last year. White-box vendors in China accounted for 44 percent of those shipments. Overall shipments in the tablet category were down 5.2 percent sequentially to 9.7 million units.

Apple was the top tablet vendor during the quarter, with 54 percent market share, followed by other vendors including white-box tablets makers, which took 20 percent of the market.”

see PCworld – White-box Tablets Gaining Share as IPad Alternatives

Combine that with iPad imitators at full/inflated prices and Apple will soon be just one of many players on the field.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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One Response to Really Small Cheap Computers

  1. Ray says:

    I thought that cell phones are to lead the way to bridging the digital divide, as it has been said that they’re more common than a toilet.

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