Feb 01 AT 8:00 PM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

If someone made a $98 Android netbook, would you buy it? (VIDEO)

Google has yet to certify the Android operating system to run on netbooks, but that hasn’t stopped the manufacturers from shipping them out. I purchased the Acer D250 that came preloaded with Android and it was mostly a disappointment (for running Android). Since the netbooks are not certified by Google, the device makers are not authorized to include the native Google Android apps like Gmail, Maps, and Android Market. Most cheap netbooks also lack a touchscreen which mostly cripples the user experience.

ARMdevices got their hands on the new Hivision PWS700CA which they claim is the cheapest Android netbook around. The specs of the device are not that impressive, but it is rumored to only cost $98. The device is based on a Rockchip RK2808 600mhz ARM926 processor, 128SDRAM, 7 inch 800×480 screen, 720p video playback support, WiFi, Ethernet, audio input/output and weights only 650grams.

It might be cheap, but how useful is it without the Android Market and a touch screen?

Via: ARMdevices

Source: Hivision

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.thepinkc.net Ellie

    I wouldn’t buy one. Without the Android Market, it’s pretty useless.

  • http://www.droidninja.com Neil Lund

    I would buy this in a heart beat. Even if it wasn’t optimized for the netbook style or been given the blessings of “with Google”. I’ve played with this at CES and I was very impressed. Having a full keyboard to type and the ability to use Ethernet as an internet connection is plenty enough for me. Beside I think a hack to add the Google apps would be right around the corner if they can’t get approval before launch. And since Flash is coming soon too, I don’t think browsing will much of a chore either. This thing is light has a great battery life for a $100 device and has a decent screen. Perfect for those short hang sessions at the local coffee shop. I wouldn’t even worry about breaking it at this price, so I’m sure I’d just leave it in the car most of the time.

  • Tom

    His review is horible. Netbooks are like the iPad totally useless.

    Save your money and get a N1 or the htc bravo.

    • http://Website Kyle L.

      Opinions are like elbows as the saying, goes. You can count my opinion into that category, but I do see a use for this netbook. If it’s really $98 and it doesn’t have some horrible flaw this would be a perfect intro to computers for a kid. I’m thinking of mine in particular.:) So, you don’t want one, okay fine. Moving on.:)

  • http://Website Steve3030

    If they could package this with a 10″-ish touchscreen, and a bump up on the processor for $250 or less? I’d have one at launch for the house and probably another within 6 months for traveling, just keep it in the car. iPad my iArse

  • npkimmey

    This is severely flawed. No Android Market? What’s the point? And at $98, it can’t be made to a very high quality standard. I’d rather wait for a Chrome OS netbook; Android should stick to phones.

  • http://www.cleverhosting.co.uk/ Keith Rogers

    This is quite interesting.

    I think without the Android Market, it is a lot less useful. However, as a machine in itself, it could prove very useful.

    For instance, lots of Linux distributions have a native (ARM) CPU Kernel. So you could put a full install of something like Debian on it, and convert it into a nice little netbook that’s cheaper that it’s competitors!

    I do agree that it won’t take long for someone to port Apps to it. Heck, the rooted Android phones can take APK files, so why wouldn’t this piece of equipment?

  • http://Website MW

    At $98, it would be worth buying just to hack around on. Under a hundred make it pretty disposable, nothing really lost if it goes up in smoke.

  • http://Website Gunderstorm

    Dear Hivision,
    Add a touchscreen and tablet hinge, and I’ll pay double that price.


    P.S. I’ll add Android Market when someone develops a ROM for the device, or try OpenEclair.

  • http://Website kojac

    Touch Screen Kits for 7″ screens are pretty cheap and easy to install (just worried about driver hacking) and just because it doesn’t ship with Market does not mean you can’t push it on to the system. I’d be more worried about updates. I would defiantly buy this system for my kid or as a little laptop to have in the kitchen to look up recipes or update my grocery list (then send it to my phone).

  • http://Website manteka

    I would not buy this because I believe android should be used on touchscreen devices for its potential. it cool that it’s very low priced though:)