Google Android to Power $250 Netbook
Article by George Norman
On 27 Apr 2009
Android, the Linux based open source OS that Google developed, will be used to power a netbook designed by Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies Co. Ltd. The netbook is in its final testing stages at the moment and will be released onto the market in about 3 month’s time (a final prototype is to be delivered by June, and in about 2 months manufacturers will make the netbook available for purchase). It seems that the small, 50 employees, Chinese company has beaten HP to the punch (reports have it that HP is working on an Android-powered netbook of their own – details here).

The netbook in question is dubbed Alpha 680 and according to Skytone co-founder Nixon Wu, the company has already received 300 inquiries from different countries, following a prototype presentation at an electronics tradeshow in Hong Kong.


If the Alpha 680 has spurred your interest, here are its technical details:
- 533MHz ARM 11 CPU;
- 7-inch LCD screen (unknown resolution).
- touchpad;
- built-in WiFi.
- 2-cell battery (expected battery life: 2 to 4 hours when surfing the web).
- price: about $250. Initially it was believed the netbook would be sold for $100, but Nixon Wu announced the Alpha 680 will not be sold for that low price, the company will aim for the $250 mark.

Analysts predict that global shipments of netbooks are going to range between 20 and 30 million units in 2009; it is yet unknown how many of these netbooks will be powered by Android and how many will be powered by other operating systems, but one thing is clear: the Android is shaping up to be a viable alternative to traditional OS. And keep in mind that Android will become an even more desirable platform once Android 1.5 is released (details on the new features included in Android 1.5 available here).

Tags: Google, Android, Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies, Netbook
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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