The $99 netbook goes Android

Posted 13 May 2010 20:27 CET by Jared Newman

Cherrypal, an obscure company that sells $99 netbooks, has dropped Linux in favor of Android in its bottom-shelf PC line.

The Cherrypal Asia runs Android 1.6, and has a 7-inch, 800-by-480 resolution screen. It costs the same as the Cherrypal Africa, which launched in December and runs Windows CE. The company makes no mention of Android Market support (only an abstract sentence about the industry moving towards an “‘application-store-like’ environment,” so I’m not sure what the possibilities are for third-party apps.

Other specs include a 533MHz ARM Cortex A9-based processor, 2GB of storage and 256MB of RAM. There are three USB ports — one for external memory and two for external keyboard and mouse only — plus an SD card slot, built-in speakers and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi.

In addition to the 7-inch model, Cherrypal sells a 10.1-inch Android netbook for $149. Specs on the larger model are otherwise the same.

I’ve been a bit skeptical of Cherrypal ever since the Africa debuted in December. At the time, I had trouble getting to the company’s Web store, which redirected me to a Russian news Web site instead. Those problems appear to be resolved, but buyers have complained in the past of shipping delays and worse-than-promised specs. The announcement of Cherrypal Asia is a case in point: A press release says that all pending orders for Linux netbooks will automatically get the Android version instead.

Still, there’s evidence that Cherrypal is somewhat legitimate. One buyer received a Linux netbook — almost two months after ordering — and pronounced it “a 7-inch bit of fun.”

If you’re feeling shaky about Cherrypal and can do without Android, a company called ITA Computers claims to sell a $98 netbook running Windows CE.

Related content