Move aside OLPCs and Intel Classmate PCs, there's a new cheapo notebook in town. For a mere $98, Chinese manufacturer HiVision is offering a Linux-based laptop, the NB0700, which makes even Netbook buyers look like big spenders.
There is a catch, though. The 400MHz processor is based on the MIPS architecture, meaning it's unlikely to be able to run Windows or any x86 programs. But if it's based on the Loongson chip, there is a chance it might simulate the x86 environment. However, this would mean a serious performance hit as well.
But for those comfortable with the Linux operating system, the HiVision machine offers a feature set competent enough to handle most productivity needs. The NB0700 comes with 64MB RAM, Wi-Fi radio, Ethernet, three USB ports, 1GB flash storage, and even an SDHC card slot.
The 7-inch screen is nothing to shout about, though for this price,that's what we kind of expect. The unit should be in available in Mainland China starting in October, though it remains to be seen if it will be launched elsewhere in the world.
HiVision is also readying a larger version, the NB0800, which has a 1.6GHz Via processor and bigger 8.9-inch display. However, this unit cost $299 which, though cheap, is not as groundbreaking as its smaller sibling.
Watch a video of the laptop below.