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Low-cost Linux laptop targets British education market

May 27, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Elonex is taking orders for a sub-$200 Linux-based laptop aimed at the British educational market. Based on a 300MHz processor, the Elonex One includes WiFi, Ethernet, Flash storage, USB, and a 7-inch, 800 x 480 detachable touch display.

(Click for larger view of Elonex One)

Only a week after LinuxDevices suggested that Bestlink's $250, 400MHz Alpha 400 might be the world's cheapest Linux laptop, Elonex appears to have set the new record. Elonex is billing its $200 laptop as a way to help underprivileged kids gain access to the Internet and other educational tools, somewhat similar to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.


Elonex One in white
(Click to enlarge)

Elonex vows to donate one Elonex One to underprivileged children for every hundred systems that are sold. The company is associated with a group called the National Laptop Initiative that intends to provide access to laptops to every child in the U.K.


Elonex One with screen detached
(Click to enlarge)

Elonex has not revealed the source of the laptop's 300MHz LNX Code 8 Mobile processor, but according to a Wikipedia page, the Elonex One is likely based on the AW-300 reference design from Aware Electronics of Taiwan. Indeed, the specs look almost identical to those of the AW-300, which uses the same Debian-based “Linos” distro that is said to drive the Elonex One. The AW-300 is equipped with an ARM-based 300MHz Aday5F processor from Aday Technology, which is likely one and the same as the Elonex LNX Code 8 Mobile CPU.


Aware's AW-300

The Elonex One provides 128MB of RAM, 1GB of flash, and extra cost USB-based flash storage devices ranging up to 16GB, says Elonex. A One+ model doubles the memory and internal flash, and adds Bluetooth. Like Aware's AW-300 (pictured at right), the Elonex One offers a detachable screen that provides the option of a standalone touchscreen tablet, complete with a mouse emulator on the back and an onscreen keyboard emulator.

The Elonex One provides a tab-based interface to access its set of Linux-based productivity and educational applications, which Elonex says are file-compatible with Microsoft Office. The software includes a word processor, spreadsheet, PDF viewer, digital photo viewer, draw and paint, plus eleven games, says Elonex. The bundle is also said to include a web browser, email agent, and instant messenger client, as well as MP3 playback and a wireless music server for sharing MP3s. A community site called OneUnion for kids and teachers is set to debut by year's end.

Specs for the Elonex One include:

  • Processor — LNX Code 8 Mobile 300MHz processor
  • Memory — 128MB DDR-II SD RAM (256MB for One+)
  • Flash — 1GB on-board (2GB for One+)
  • Storage — removable WristVault Flash device, ranging between 1GB and 16GB (sold separately)
  • Display — 7-inch TFT LCD (800 x 480 resolution)
  • Networking — 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Bluetooth — One+ model only
  • Audio — 2 x built-in speakers; 3.5mm audio-in/mic and headphones
  • Keyboard — splash-proof, detachable QWERTY
  • Mouse — 2 x emulators (one on keyboard and one on back of display for tablet use)
  • Dimensions — 8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches (22 x 15 x 3 cm)
  • Weight — 2.1 lbs (0.95 kg)
  • Battery — 3-cell battery with approximately 4 hours usage
  • Operating system — Linos (based on 2.6.21 kernel)


Elonex One interface screen

Availability

The Elonex One is available for order and due to ship in June for 100 British Pounds (about $200 US), says Elonex. The One+ model sells for 120 Pounds, or about $235.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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