Friday, July 31, 2009

Sold Out Already

The near-$100 computer deal at has sold out again, much sooner than I expected, less than a day after I posted it.

This shows the revolutionary demand at a level near $100, even for a 7-inch computer.

When will someone break that barrier on a more or less permanent basis? This year or next?

The results will be amazing, as most people don't know you can get a brand-new computer anywhere near that cheap.

Get Alpha 400 + FREE SHIPPING for $129.99

I said a few posts ago that had reached the "sweet spot of computer pricing" at $129 for the 9-inch Asus EEE PC. They ran out of that and similar deals in a few days.

Well, the deals are back, with one on our beloved Skytone Alpha-400.

Please click here to get the Alpha-400 for $129.99 with no shipping charge. Be sure to use the code FREESHIP during checkout at

I wouldn't wait too long if you want the world's cheapest price for a computer that is brand new and not refurbished or subsidized.

We are very close to the $100 computer now, which is not the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) and never will be.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

$100 PC Era Brought by Asus EEE PC, Not OLPC, After All: $129, 9" LCD, at Geeks (Also Alpha 400 at $134+)


The sweet spot of computer pricing apparently is not $99 as many of us thought, but $129. Geeks now offers a 7-inch Everex CloudBook for $129.99 (refurbished). They sold out of the refurbished Asus 900 at $129.99, which was supposed to be available through July 31. Sold out Saturday night, July 11. In the bargain they also sold out of the ALPHA-400 at $149.99, which they have been selling brand-new for a long time (presumably it will be restocked).

They also offer the newer Asus EEE PC 900A (note "A") for $179.99 again refurbished, details below.

Rounding out the best deals online, is the Alpha-400 (brand new) at $130-$150 when and if it is in stock.


Also, you can usually find a standard laptop, around 15-inch LCD, in the Sunday advertising flyers in your local paper for a few bucks over $300.

$129.99 Refurbished

* Everex CloudBook CE1200V VIA C7-M 1.2 GHz 7-inch Netbook

* General Features:
* Color: Black
* gOS Rocket Operating System pre-installed
* VIA C7-M 1.2 GHz Ultra Low Voltage Processor
* VIA VX700 Northbridge / Southbridge chipset
* 512 MB DDR2 533 MHz SDRAM (1 GB maximum supported)
* 30 GB hard drive
* No Optical Drive
* VIA UniChrome Pro IGP graphics
* Built-in Webcam
* VIA VT1708A Vinyl High-Definition Audio Codec with built-in speakers
* Realtek 8100C 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet
* Realtek 802.11b/g Wireless Network Adapter
* 80-key US keyboard with TouchPad
* 7-inch WVGA Widescreen Display (800 x 480 native resolution)
* Built-in 4-in-1 Card Reader
$179.99 Refurbished

* Asus Eee PC 900A Atom N270 1.60 GHz 8.9-inch Netbook

* General Features:
* Pearl white color
* Asus customized Linux operating system
* Intel Atom N270 1.60 GHz processor
* 4 GB SSD (Solid-State Disk) internal storage capacity
* No optical drive
* No floppy drive
* Intel UMA integrated video
* Integrated high definition audio with built-in speakers
* Integrated 10/100 Ethernet
* 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
* Keyboard with touchpad
* Built-in memory card reader
* 8.9-inch Wide LCD display with 1024 x 600 resolution (WSVGA)



One of the things that capitalists fear the most, believe it or not, is the concept of a $100 PC. That's why ever since the Asus EEE came out in October 2007 there has been constant pressure to up the performance -- and of course the price -- from every kind of news and PR source and of course from Microsoft, who have practically been willing to give away their once-discarded XP OS to get it on so-called "netbooks" (as their partner in crime, Intel, promptly dubbed them).

The $100 PC originally was promised by the nonprofit OLPC (One Laptop Per Child project), and they failed to deliver, even switched from Linux to that "vast capitalist conspiracy," Windows. Even Asus failed to attain $100 exactly and switched to Windows also.

But can we finally agree that the day of "the computer you need is always $5000" -- gross exploitation of computer consumers by corporate capitalism -- is over and the day of $100 PCs (laptops, notebooks, MIDs, smartphone computers, etc.) is finally here? I mean, if can sell a 9-inch version for $129.95, that's close enough for me to declare victory. Even if it is only for July 2009. And even if the unit is a refurb (3-month warranty, which American Express should extend to 1-year if you use them). (Buyer Beware: When you order on a special deal online, don't forget to apply the "secret savings code," 900M here, at checkout to get the near $100 price . Write the code down as soon as you see it.) If you insist on brand new, and if a 7-inch screen will suffice, the same outfit offers our beloved ALPHA-400, always, day in and day out, for $149.99 (sometimes near $130) .

As I said in October 2007, the Asus EEE PC will be remembered as the Model T of computers -- the computer for the masses that put the world on the Web (and not just the core developed nations). In a sense, there is a chance to get your piece of history -- and as Henry Ford might say today, "In any color you want, as long as it's black or white."


On a recent trip to the Microcenter store out in Mayfield Heights, I was shocked to find not one Linux notebook. And this was one of the first retailers to carry the Asus EEE PC in bricks-and-mortar stores. More recently, news reports say that Microsoft XP has about a 99-percent share in mini-laptops (netbooks) being sold now.

Do you feel baited and switched? It's a technique as old as retailing, mercantilism, and probably trade itself; and it works best under capitalism: "Underpowered." "Unfamiliar." "For kids." "Not for intensive gaming, video editing [or whatever]." "Needs a larger screen for real work" [as large as that mural-sized LCD on your wall, or is a 2" cellphone screen enough sometimes?]. Or as Bill Gates famously said, "Geez, get yourself a decent computer."


Ultimately the Wintel netbook version of bait and switch will fail. People will try the various versions of Linux and find that Windows is not easier, just more familiar. But HERE IS WHY MICROSOFT ALWAYS SEEMS TO WIN: The Wizard hides behind an iron curtain of PC magazine and Engadget propaganda -- incorporating PC users themselves and foolish word-of-mouth on forums, in comments, etc. -- convincing people that he is all-wise and that they need him to boss them, and especially to provide all of their software needs. Anything else, he will tell them, is difficult and unreliable. I would venture that everyone reading this knows that that is of course a lie.

The average person who tries a Linux laptop or notebook or other device and overcomes the simple-minded snare of familiarity will agree with me as well. Remember, Linux is the computer language of the people. It is there to help. Commercial software is something that has been fenced in (like land in the Range Wars of the Old West), copyrighted, and patented and is out there to make a profit for the richest man in the world.

So to doubters, quit being a computer wimp and a baby: Give up the security blanket of boxed, store-bought software and try open-source, the software of the people.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Världens billigaste netbook: The world's cheapest netbook

By Niklas Andersson [Photo]

This is just in from the Swedish magazine Tech World via the Swedish version of the IDG website The translation is by Google:

"Nicolas Negroponte's dream of a computer for a hundred U.S. dollars looks to soon come true, but it is not his own creation that crosses the finishing line.

The Belco Alpha 400 has been sold for as little as 1070 kronor for a sales campaign.

A computer should not cost more than a hundred U.S. dollars, thought MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte, and he started the project One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).

The project launched what Sony called a "race to the bottom" with constantly falling prices and reduced margins.

OLPC developed around Linux for cutting off what became the single largest cost component - the operating system.

OLPC and Linux became the catalyst for the entire netbook industry, where ASUS was the first out with its Eee PC-700, which took the world by storm and where the sales target was up to five million units. Since then, the majority of PC manufacturers had to jump on the netbook train with continued depressed prices as a result.

OLPC project since its inception has had several difficult periods. Negroponte's controversial move that the device could also ship with Windows has outraged the open-source community, which endorsed the product mainly for it to ship with free software. OLPC has also seen itself forced to fire much of the staff, and sales success has failed to materialize.

The last public price information for an OLPC was at $188, or $88 off target.

The price has now, however, been approached by a number of manufacturers with models like the Asus Eee PC-900 which sells for $194.99. [Note: Andersson, like journalist Caitlyn Martin in the US, does not distinguish between new and REFURBISHED. The PC-900 at Geeks is a refurb. The Alpha is brand new, never tampered with.]

If processor architecture is a minor consideration, there are even cheaper computers. Belco Alpha 400 is a netbook with a MIPS processor, and the computer approached during a campaign a price of $139.

Most point to the trend of falling prices continuing. The company behind the processor ARM say they have several models ready for the autumn, which in addition to lower price will offer significantly longer battery times.

The cheapest netbooks we see today go for $139, or around 1070 SEK. So for the mini size, we have 70 kronor left until our dream limit is reached - a thousand kronor - which may take place as soon as autumn.

Nicolas Negroponte should probably wait until next year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Coby to Buy NBPC1020, Other 10-Inch Netbooks from Kophee Technologies Co., Ltd.


KOPHEE Technologies Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen China apparently is the maker of the Coby notebooks or netbooks.

The relationship with Coby Electronics could be more than manufacturer-destributor. This could be one of what Coby refers to as "sister companies." Also note the similarity in the names, depending on how you pronounce Coby and Kophee.

News reports have stated that Coby has supplied notebooks to S. America, Asia, and Korea. Kophee does have Korean ties. Also, the Coby/Kophee model numbers already are being marketed by Eltech in the United Arab Emirates, which says its IT hardware is "designed in the USA" and "manufactured in Korea and China" and which all fits in with Coby Electronics. The UAE is in southwest Asia.

So apparently the first seller of the Coby notebooks like the NBPC1022 is Eltech in Asia, or the Middle East.

You can get an Alpha-400 mini-laptop like we are promoting here for $134.99 here from GEEKS.COM, the best buy around for a NEW computer (some journalists like Caitlin Martin have unfairly compared this to even better "bargains" in refurbished, used computers). Or you might someday be able to get a 10-inch Coby for $240 as explained below.

The long-awaited "netbook" PCs of the American Champ of Cheap, Coby Electronics, apparently will be manufactured by Kophee Technologies Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. This could be coming to discount stores (and other outlets) everywhere.

Two colorful examples are in the photograph (click to enlarge). Be sure to go to the Kophee page here for details of the NBPC-1022, which supposedly will soon be sold by Coby in South America as well as in Korea and other Asian countries for the equivalent of $240.

The other three 10-inch mini-laptops listed on the site of Shenzhen Coby Communications Co., Ltd., are at this link:

The Kophee Technologies Co. page shows that the company will sell in lots of 100 units minimum and can provide up to 200,000 a year.

If anyone can offer a 10-inch mini-laptop -- brand new, not refurbished as many tricksters in the press try to use to confuse the issue -- for $240 in the United States, Kophee and Coby will need to gear up production. And, as for Michael Dell and Bill Gates, in the words of long-ago president Harry Truman, "When that happens [they'll] need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

World's Cheapest PC Computer -- Alpha 400 at Near $100


Can we say the day of the $100 computer has arrived?

" is a place to find way under priced tech gadgets. We offer one product daily that is available until sold out or until the next product is available. New products are posted every day at 10:10 AM CST." is based out of a suburb in Memphis, TN. Also, note that there are two "g's" in "Snagg."

Here's their URL.