8 Comments

Summary:

Reader Grant pointed us to an unusual netbook being sold that is powered by a 400 MHz MIPS processor in place of the standard Intel Atom.  The Alpha 400 MIPS netbook runs Linux and has 1 GB of flash memory for storage and a mere 128 […]

Alpha400unit_2Reader Grant pointed us to an unusual netbook being sold that is powered by a 400 MHz MIPS processor in place of the standard Intel Atom.  The Alpha 400 MIPS netbook runs Linux and has 1 GB of flash memory for storage and a mere 128 MB of system RAM.  There’s a 7-inch screen on this little netbook and an SD slot to round things out.  While a MIPS-powered netbook might not be what many are looking for this processor is probably good enough to run a Linux-based notebook that will be used primarily for Internet work.  The Alpha is available through geeks.com and we’d love to hear from anyone who has picked up one of these cheap things.  $189.95 is definitely the cheapest netbook we’ve seen yet.

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  1. I’ve seen the AAO for $250, which is a much better deal than this crippled design. Who would seriously ship a Linux 2.4 kernel device today?

  2. Cheapest notebook? I beg to disagree. Laptopking (laptopking.com.ph) is selling Asus eee pc 701 2GB SSD with Linux at around $186. At the moment, that’s the price to beat.

  3. Joel McLaughlin Monday, December 8, 2008

    1 GB of SSD is too small. I had a 8 GB drive in my Eee and I recently upgraded it to a 32 GB Super Talent Drive (review forthcoming on geardiary) and while I never ran out on the 8 GB, I didn’t store data on it either. Now I have 4 times the space and can do so much more with the little machine.

    Also, I know of no distros other than Debian that have MIPS processors.

  4. Joel McLaughlin Monday, December 8, 2008

    Also note that it runs the 2.4 kernel. A LITTLE out of date! :D

  5. For 30$ more, you can get an eee 701 off of newegg.

  6. OK, I know this threat has been dead for a long time, but I thought I’d report in.

    I played with the Alpha 400 for about an month and the set it aside. The OS was just to slow. As it turns out, this little device and its clones have developed quite a following. Someone has developed a new operating system for the Alpha 400 that turn this computer into a respectable little laptop. The os is a linux distro called 3mx. IT takes about 10 minutes to reflash the drive and you are up and running with a real linux desktop that has all the needed software to get on the net a do a little light document creation/editing. Even my 3g usb modem works.

    The Alpha 400 is still not he fasted netbook around, but with the additon of the 3mx Linux distribution, its at least useful now. And its cheap.

  7. TateJ:
    Thanks for that. Geeks.com has dropped these things to $135, and it’s hard to pass up at that price. Especially with a new distro to make it actually usable. It will (hopefully) beat the pants off of the ancient Zenith TurboSport laptop I use to setup switches and routers (the Zenith has a 75 MHz 486 in it. God, the thing is 15 years old…). I wonder though – how heavy is it? “Ultralight” is such a marketing term…

  8. I like it a lot. I installed all the software available at http://www.littlelinuxlaptop.com (didn’t try the 3MX OS yet,though) and it’s really, really good.

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