Allwinner releases a new laptop that retails for less than a MacBook charger. Is this an emerging trend?
In the past few years, hardware has miniaturized and the price of computers has drastically fallen. But who knew that a company like Allwinner could release a new laptop for just $79.
A brand new laptop for $79
The new laptop, which was first reported by ARMdevices.net, boasts an 11.6” screen with 768×1366 resolution and is run by an Allwinner A64 chip set with ARM’s Cortex-A53 quad-core processor. It also includes a Mali400MP2 GPU, 1GB RAM, and a Flash storage capacity that ranges between 8GB to 32GB, a comfortable keyboard and a standard mousepad.
In addition to the basic model, the company has also announced two other models: A 14.1” screen model which retails for $99, and a 2-in-1 (Hybrid) computer which has an 11.6” touchscreen with prices starting at $99.
The computers are based on Remix OS, a fairly new operating system based on Android, but includes an interface for laptops and PCs.
Working on the 2.0 version of the operating system feels much more like working on OS X or Windows than on Android, and it includes features that are reminiscent of desktop operation systems, such as multitasking, file structure based on folders, an installed applications menu that is distinctly similar to the Start menu, Drag and Drop options, Cut and Paste using the common shortcuts of Ctrl-V and Ctrl-C, and a right click for a dropdown menu of alerts and settings.
It is important to emphasize that Allwinner isn’t making a strategic shift and didn’t start to turn only to the consumer market. It is still mainly a chip making company and its target audience are the various manufacturers in the market. The new laptop is more of a tour de force, intended to show the manufacturers what can be done with Allwinner’s technology and processor, similar to what Intel is doing with its NUC or Compute Stick.
We should also note that the company stresses that the prices may vary, with the final cost depending on the demand for its new computers and the quantity produced.
That being said, a new laptop for less than $100 is still a nice feat.
Not a MacBook Pro, but it costs as much as its charger
While it is a very basic laptop, and not built for heavy duty functions like video editing or gaming, it will certainly be enough for most daily tasks such as surfing the web, working on documents, or watching videos. The laptop’s extremely low price is even more striking when taking into account that the MacBook Pro’s charger alone would set you back $79 at the Apple Store.
Just as Stick PCs — the USB-sized computers that run Windows 10 exactly as a normal PC would — are taking storm, Allwinner’s new laptop may signal the industry’s next big thing. We are only left to hope that as RemixOS continues to grow, more manufacturers will produce ultra-cheap laptops as well.