back to article CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

Here’s how you to get to CherryPal. Gather up all of the hot technology buzzwords – cloud computing, going green, communities – and mush them together into something about the size of sandwich. CherryPal has unveiled a device that’s billed as a cloud computer. Don’t be intimidated by the name. We’re just talking about a PC …


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  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Cherries are sweeter than apples - I like it.

    This looks really nice, if they come in at the advertised price point then I vote for some USB disks for my backup server.

    Oh and a pair of NICs might be handy for a firewall, mind you I suppose you could us a USB NIC /shudder/

    So add a version with an extra NIC and I think we have a winner.

  2. Jez Caudle

    It's 17th June ...

    ... not April the 1st.

    Is this all for real or I am having a sense of humour failure?

  3. Jez Caudle

    It is a joke because

    the logo for CherryPal is a representation of a man sexual organs.

    The cherries are the testicles and the leaf the penis.

    Or have I been looking at too much porn lately?

  4. Steve Evans

    @John Robson

    Exactly what I thought...

    It's got "My new firewall" written all over it...

  5. Horridbloke

    What about the other bits

    If you're a sufficiently casual user to be happy with something of this spec (and millions are) you'd probably prefer an Eee for its portability (no computer desk taking up space in the spare bedroom)...

    ... unless the "cloud" element is really really special. Which it probably isn't.

  6. Robert Moore
    Thumb Down


    Looks like a paperweight to me.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Nice machine, nice idea but..

    Are we back to 1983 here? Apricots, damsons, acorns... anything that falls off a tree becomes a geekish joke about a prior computer brand?

    Please, no.

    Loganberries. Satsumas. The Mk 2 Granny smith.

    "ladies and genetlemen: The Conker"

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Mr Fury
    Paris Hilton

    I hate their website so much I want to incinerate an orphange with fiery puppies

    I sat through a tedious flash animation to be given diddly squat information, that always gives me a sunny disposition to a company.

    And their logo resembles a freshly whipped pair of testicles.

    Paris - because she's flashy, devoid of useful information and has doubtlessly seen reddened testicles.

  10. Chris Cooke

    hot jobbies...?


  11. Marky W

    Logo fun

    Aimed at kids, eh?

    Is it just me or is that cherry logo just begging for a little tippex modification to resemble certain body parts. Assuming kids still use tippex, not as much fun since they changed the thinners into something less mind-expanding. When I were a lad etc, etc....

    Taxi for one.

  12. James Pickett


    although "faster than Vista" isn't a huge claim.

    The last time I used Vista, the hourglass was replaced by a calendar...

  13. Aaron Harris


    Its not green its black?

    No, no, I’ve got it from the back of the door already...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Desktop will be shipping at $199 and is aimed for full release in early August.

    The Laptop will be shipping at $299.

    Of course, you'll probably have to factor in the standard US > UK conversion so you may as well change the $ for a £ but it's still a good price.

  15. Fluffykins Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Point of order Mr Editor

    Can we please not have preferential marketing here, please?

    We need a picture incorporating a suitably decorative totty draped over a Cherry box on a beach somewhere.

    OK, if the Cherry guys can't oblige, then the Cherry box isn't a mandatory requirement, just so long as the caption makes it clear the aforementioned totty is not draped over a Cherry box.

    There, that should do it.

    And I also want to be the first to get a cheap laugh out of mentioning "Totty" and "Showing a cherry" in the same sentence.

    There, I've done that too.

    My, what a busy afternoon.

    Too warm for a coat. Totty instead.

  16. Richard

    "Mac OS X-addled machine."

    Oh Ashlee, something rotten in the state of Vance? ... your bias is showing again ... you need bigger "pants" (trousers).

  17. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

    Remind me which bias that is, mate.

  18. Alastair

    Phallic logo?

    Is it just my childhood-like innocence, or isn't it just some cherries?! Sure you could say they look like balls if you want but I think you're grasping for something that's not there. So to speak.

    As for the box, colour me sceptical- especially of the graphics performance. If it can do what jobby says it can it could even work as my new media playing box. Bet it won't, though.

  19. Phil Endecott

    Compare this with...

    Here's a review of a similar-spec box using a 500 MHz VIA chip that takes 7W (at the mains socket):

    It gives a pretty good overview of the experience you can expect from this sort of device. Another one with similar performance is the BeagleBoard (

    BUT: so far I haven't seen any non-x86 devices of this sort that support respectable screen resolutions; like most of the ARM-based systems, the Freescale chip in this box manages only 1024x768. How many of the potential users will be satisfied with that on a desktop? If you want 1600x1200 the VIA x86-based chipsets, or similar things from AMD and Intel, remain the only options.

  20. Peter Kay

    No audio...

    audio out would be nice, and a second NIC, preferably.

    Still, even without either of those it's interesting.

    At 2W it could be powered on a load of AA cells (at least for a few hours)!

  21. Philip

    Another 'Apple-Killer'...

    ... from the embittered old Reg- if you still remember it by Christmas it'll be



  22. Richard

    re: re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

    I mean the addition of "addled" to imply (or allow the inference of) something rotten or confused and vague about Mac OS X ... which seems odd considering your normal Apple neutral alignment and good custom of Apple Inc.

    Has something caused a new cut (bias 8-) to the fabric of your Apple world?

    Whoops .. forgot the "Joke Alert" icon.

  23. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    re: re: "Mac OS X-addled machine."

    I was really speaking more from CherryPal's perspective and the relative bloat that is either Vista or Mac OS X when compared to an embedded OS.

    Still like my Macs, while disdaining Apple PR>

  24. Matt Bucknall


    No DVI in this day and age?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Ah, the great smell of vapourware

    and burning start-up capital

  26. zxcvbnm

    Sounds like a lot of things

    Most low end pdas or gps devices on the market now have a 400mhz arm risc processor and a sd card slot for gbs of memory. Sounds identical to this with less ports. Boots in seconds running windows ce. So unless this is extremIy cheap I can't really see the originality.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "We remain skeptical" - Is that like sceptical?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I might plug one of these into my TV.

    I've got a VGA port on the back of my LCD TV, and a wireless keyboard that I don't use much. I might consider springing for one of these to get a web browser in the living room. (Though maybe I'd be better off putting the cash towards one of those "media extenders" instead).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price Comparison

    "Of course, you'll probably have to factor in the standard US > UK conversion so you may as well change the $ for a £"

    At least one vendor - Apple, seems to have understood it annoys anyone outside the USA, particularly those in the UK, that we were being ripped off when converting US prices. Hence Steve Jobs' commitment to fix prices of the basic iPhone at $199 (if he keeps his keynote speech promise). Oh, I don't own a single Apple product - not yet.

  30. solid gold suleyman
    Paris Hilton

    @zxcvbnm - a little better than that.

    400MHz PowerPC e300 dual-issue core with 32K caches is about the same as a 700-800MHz ARM 1136EJ-S. I'd buy one. It'd be a fun box to program.

    Paris 'coz I'd like to hack her box, too.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To compete with UMCs

    people need to start installing monitors and keyboards into coffee houses.

    I cannot help thinking this device is a little ahead of its time. Most who want a small computer buy mini or nano-itx and just build one. But, without the peripherals this is going to be a hard sell to the average consumer.

    Clock speeds have never been that accurate, I would prefer to see MIPs or bogomips even, so what if the chip oscillates at a certain frequency, I want to know how many instructions it can pump through in a second.

    Could be useful for clustering though, if it is cheap enough, but I do feel visual technology needs to make the leap (laser keyboards are about, so input has done its bit, it is output's turn now). Where is our holographic display or cheap small projectors.

  32. Erik Aamot
    Paris Hilton

    you guys see balls ...

    I've rather associated cherries with ... errr .. virgin territory

    Paris, because she lost her cherry long ago ...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh, how 'cute'

    sorry but cheap, green and completely unremarkable won't move boxes... Anybody else remember the hype of "Network Computers" back in the early to mid 90's? They were interesting for about 30 seconds and then reality set in.

  34. James


    If they want this thing to run iTunes, the lack of storage space is one issue. The fact it's running linux is going to be another blocker. Or have Apple decided to hug the penguin of late, and I've missed it?

    Still, good luck to them. It should be perfect for some situations (as with the new range of laptots out there). If this thing does take off, it'll be interesting to watch MS give XP a further reprieve in the hope of staying relevant.

  35. Ashlee Vance (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: iTunes?

    Yeah, that's exactly what I asked Seybold, regarding the local storage and apparently missing iTunes for Linux. I dunno. He had some weird smile when he answered the question. The only thing I can guess is some cloud like thing where you're storing the songs somewhere else, but I can't imagine why Apple would agree to that or why anyone would want it.

  36. Mathew White

    Stipped down iBook

    While the unit may consume 2 watts of power, I'm guessing that the power adaptor that runs it uses about 20, most of which going off as heat.

    Why not just get an iBookG4 off ebay (ignoring the ones with the gpu-o-death) and mod it yourself? you get more ports, and you have the fun of ripping an iBook apart - with a LCD, CD-R/DVD, WiFi, Microphone, Trackpad, keyboard, (and modem if your being really over zealous) - left over.

    I've seen boxes like this for ages now, and they have never taken off.

  37. Craig Ringer

    Thin client - if only it had DVI

    This has "great thin client" (be it LTSP with remote X11, RDP/ICA, or RFB/VNC) written all over it - except for one little problem.


    Without a digital display option it's really not attractive for much except use as a firewall in some limited situations, as a low-power home server, or with some crappy cast-off screen as a workstation for someone you don't like very much.

    As for firewalls, it turns out that the eee PC is an awfully good choice, at least if you have a VLAN switch or only care about wifi. I'm using mine as a great little ubuntu firewall/router/server and wifi access point. Once connected up to a 1TB USB HDD it does an impressive job as a file server. It runs silently with very low power consumption once you enable CPU power management, and it has plenty of grunt to spare when it's required. The built-in battery backup, keyboard, and display is just a bonus.

    Hmm, I think we need a TLA soup icon.

  38. Charles Manning

    2W + monitor > laptop power

    2W is one thing, but you need to look at the system power. Add a monitor and you're using more power than most laptops.

    Still, good to see another company that is not wed to Windows. The only reason EeePC uses x86 is for windows. Going with ARM, even a PPC gives far better power figures and pricing than any x86 - even the Atom.

    Break from x86 and low power/cost is much easier. For instance, the Atmel AT91SAM9G20 (400MHz ARM) only uses 80mW and costs $7. Add more power and cost for the RAM, flash etc.

  39. Shinku
    Dead Vulture


    The name reminds me of that CherryOS, the ripoff PearPC PPC emulator clone. I guess they share nothing in common other than the apparent ability to run iTunes but it just seemed interesting.

    Me? I'll just keep my ol' dual-floppied Apricot with the glowing green monochrome monitor for when I'm feeling fruity.

    Dead birdy 'cos it looks like he's just dribbling cherry hooch.

  40. David Haworth


    Mightn't they have trademark problems from a certain well-known keyboard manufacturer?

    Unless of course we've just found their new business model...

  41. Ron Eve
    Thumb Up

    @Nice machine, nice idea but..

    "ladies and genetlemen: The Conker"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Splutter!!! Brilliant! Even as an Apple user I think the whole fruit/vegetable/alien naming of computers is so... thick.

    Now, where's the tissue to clean up my keyboard....

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Mick

    I'd have one

    Who cares about graphics! Use a proper PC / games console / pack of cards for that. However, I've started to hate the fan noise and heat that computers and other electrical stuff chucks out, and if I'm going to leave a computer on, I want all that to go away.. If this thing uses 2W, it's probably fanless, and I could leave it on happily to handle my backups - hang a couple of disks off it, install Subversion and you're done :) Add a screen and the kids could use it for web access as well.

    More manufacturers should at least try to keep power usage and software bloat down. I bought a laptop last year that shuts off every now and then when it overheats, because the fan's not efficient enough, and can barely run Vista, which it shipped with. Rubbish!

    Skull and crossbones because Windows will be a thing of the past in 10 years.

  44. Richard Henderson
    Thumb Down

    "intellectual property...." = death knell

    He mentioned IP, which means venture capitalists, which means it is a dead duck. I'm guessing some awful lock-in to some net-based service. It's a goner....<quack>

  45. Gavin Nottage


    Just to say it needs a DVI output, and the specs of the Ethernet aren't clear, but it really should be gigabit. Then it starts to make sense as a little box for a non-power user who lives with a power user. Or it could go in a kitchen etc where 1024x768 is OK.

  46. Parax

    Re:Re: iTunes?


    I cant fathom how storage on the Cherry affects the storage capacity of my MP3 Player?? If I can get tunes from web2pod by using the cherry then why do i need PC storage? (yeah backup yadda yadda but not critical!)

    @John Robson - USB-NIC not good enough for your internet connection? please tell me who your ISP is! there may be a driver issue though.

    My reason for posting...

    anyway if this thing will stream video from my NAS then I'll velcro it to the back of the TV in a jiffy! sold.

    (wot no dvi/video port - well my tv has a vga connector so who cares!)

  47. Anonymous Coward

    thin client

    tied into the cloud cluster for bigger processing??

  48. Anon Koward


    The one major drawback for this device compare to a normal PC or even that new low-powered PC that was being bandied about ASUS EEUC (or whatever the acronym is), is that this device is not flexible.

    Lets not forget the fundamental reason PC's took off so quickly over Mac's in the old days was due to flexibility of use, by the details that i read in this article it would appear that this device is only ever going to cover a niche market.

    I can't see any mainstream business opening up their firewalls to allow this device to run those necessary apps like Outlook etc, (forget iTunes!), which means it has already limited itself and isn't flexible.

    What about future upgrades of HW, but a new CherryPal every few years?

    It just doesn't appear to be that that flexible, I think this CEO missed a trick, the market isn't crying out just for a green low wattage device, they are crying out for a green low wattage PC that still has flexibility...

  49. Frank Bough
    Thumb Up

    Not VGA nor DVI

    ...but this little fella needs a nice, modern HDMI port instead. And by 'cloud', I rather assume that the idea is to buy 5, 10 or more of these things, put them on the same LAN and have them share the CPU load - it really could be quite cool in the right application.

  50. Andy G

    Help !!

    Can anyone please remember details of the similar pc in a box that drew its power from the NIC ??

    (having a minor argument here about whether this is possible)


  51. Jamie Kephalas
    Thumb Down

    Web Audio

    I hate any site with audio you cannot turn off! C'mon! Sort it!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firewall Device

    Surely you can run a firewall with one Network port just use two subnets.

  53. Anonymous Coward


    That's great, until you want to use vista, or a game, or any office application.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like fun to tinker with...

    How about an external 1TB USB drive for storage & a USB sound card? Might be nice for a simple media center.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Power over Ethernet

    @Andy G

    PoE can push 25w but is rarely used on a home network. and businessess wont use these... Maybe A PoE thin Client though.

  56. andy
    Thumb Up

    @ Craig Ringer

    "Hmm, I think we need a TLA soup icon."

    A TSI ?

  57. Anne van der Bom

    Where's the wifi?

    If this thing is to be bought to be used in the living room/bed rooms, daddy sure's not happy to put ethernet wires all over the place.

  58. Matt


    'and other laptots'?? dare I ask what laptots are? sounds a bit wrong if you ask me.

    honestly, the amount of typos in El Reg is comparable to The Grauniad. Do you guys not have spellcheckers? You'll need to change your name to 'The Regsiter' soon. Or 'El Rge'?

  59. Bob

    Soekris sounds much better

    Anybody who finds these interesting should have a look at a Soekris box.

    The fastest runs at 500Mhz and half a gig of RAM, and costs a little over €300 (more like €400, about £300, when you get through all the charges).

    They are amazing little boxes for running as home servers / firewalls etc. They are upgradable, having hard drive connectors, PCI / mini PCI and USB connectors built in, plus they have 4 ethernet cards.

    The only thing they lack compared to these cherries is a VGA connector (you can add a PCI card) and they use more like 10W, but that shouldn't matter compared to a normal 400W or so PC.

    Mine runs OpenBSD a hell of a lot faster than any Windows PC I've ever seen and it won't randomly delete your backups like Windows Home Server...

    If you want a PC substitute I think you can forget about these types of devices, but for a little data server, firewall, router etc I haven't seen anything better.

    Plus, for Jamie Kephalas, the website doesn't play any stupid audio...

  60. Sven-ErikOlsson
    Thumb Down

    Memory Failure

    Remember CherryOS anybody?

  61. Steven Raith

    @matt - Laptots

    Matt, laptots was one of the phrases bandied around a few weeks ago when the whole small, cheap computers thing kicked off with the Atom EeePCs, Acer One, etc - as opposed to a peados portable PC, or something.

    I like the idea of something like this that I can hook my half terabyte drive [and any future storage] up to over USB, and map into over NFS or SAMBA from my crappy old lappy without having to worry about my main PC drawing a couple of hundred watts 24/7. I dare say it would make a perfectly usable DHCP/DNS server too. Which would save my d-link router from needing restarted after heavy torrenting sessions when the onboard DNS passthrough thingy seems to shit itself.

    Not to mention the tinkering options, and the non-x86 architecture which makes me go 'ooh' for no thoroughly explained reason.

    At the right price, I'd be severely tempted.

  62. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Up

    Go Power!

    End the x86 domination. Now.


    ( Now if only someone would continue to develop desktop ppc64 type chip and build some machines and sell em. Don't worry about the OS, we'll linuxify it or something! )

  63. Christos Georgiou

    Fit PC

    I own a Fit PC ( ). A bought another for a friend. A company I know bought several units, because they are selling haematological analysers, and since they have to sell PCs too to run the analyser SW, they prefer to *fully include* the PC inside the analyser enclosure; yes, it also runs Windows. Mine runs Gentoo, heavily customised for my needs, and 198MiB of its 256 MiB RAM are still left for disk caching.

  64. Michael Tripper

    was that a ZX81

    looks like my first machine from all those years ago....

  65. Snert Lee

    Why iTunes?

    I'd think the major reason for iTunes compatibility is that they plan to market to the same style driven, form over function segment of the market that iPods and iPhones are pitched at.

    Perhaps they're working on some sort of hosted iTunes back end with a Firefox extension for the front end. ( )

  66. Snert Lee

    Seeding the Blogoschmeer

    A little grassroots marketing?

    Writers/Bloggers/Students wanted for tech startup marketing (free computer and appealing compensation model)We are a new vendor of ultra-low cost (price of an iPod), highly energy efficient (very green), super fast (same performance characteristics as a $3,000 Mac or PC), new generation of desktop/laptop computers.We are going to build the brand based on our core values, inexpensive, green, user-friendly and last but not least open. Open in our world means open source software applications as well as open communication; a consumer brand that encourages users to share ideas and influence the roadmap of future product releases.The products will be launched in July ... with a really big bang!!!We are looking for "Brand Angels" who can spread the word through social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and others.Last but not least - we have very interesting compensation models (including stock option plans) in place. You will receive our product for FREE, and we rely on you to share your experiences through social networking sites/blogs. We will compensate you for promoting our product.Want to be a part of this "cheap/green/easy" consumer desktop/laptop success story by promoting a company that believes in sustainable living?We look forward to hearing from you.

  67. Nexox Enigma


    I've actually convinced some people short on real computers to set up a single port firewall by combining their residential gateway with a Linux box. The Linux firewall runs dhcpd, tells clients to use it as their main gateway, then has it's own gateway set as the linksys/dlink/netgear/whichever. Not elegant, but functional, and you can still use the wifi ap built in.

    If you're looking for low power firewalls though, MSI makes a mini itx w/ a 500mhz geode cpu. The cpu itself consumes so little power that it doesn't even need a heatsink, and obviously no fan. The board has dual gbit ports, mini pci slot for a high power wifi adaptor, bootable cf card slot, and takes some form of cheapish ram. power consumption would probably mostly depend on how beefy of a wifi card you loaded in there, but I do imagine it'd be low, plus with the cf card you could go with absolutely no moving parts. Obviously I dearly want one of these boards... but my ancient donated 500MHz PIII HP desktop seems to still be working alright.

  68. Philip

    Fugly Box

    It looks as though it might get Freeview, too...

  69. Anonymous Coward

    Once again into the breach...

    Grow up, kids. The Reg is getting better about limiting the stupid sophomorics in article titles, how about some corresponding improvement in the Comments section?

    Just how bored do you have to be to point out phallic symbols in computer logos? (At least references to the AT&T "Death Star" logo were entertaining.)

    And this Paris Hilton thing? Yeah, I could drop her name jokingly as if I were in some way personally familiar with her, but who would I be fooling?

    Yours curmudgeonly,

    Anonymous Codger

    P.S. I hope nobody ever illustrates a Reg article with a Georgia O'Keefe painting.

  70. Erik Aamot
    Paris Hilton

    @Anonymous Codger

    it's a boring article of a boring box .. hence, if all on-topic, the comments would be boring as well

    Paris, because her box isn't boring

  71. alex d


    CherryPal, get it?

    These people are fn brilliant. They sell these things in the developing world. Out of the box it only does one thing: surfs porn (err.. the "web"). Everyone buys them just for that. And then CherryPal can sell to this install base Terminal Services. Besides porn, you can have Office, Photoshop. HELL you can even have Crysis (with StreamMyGame). Without going out to the internet cafe, that is.

    (On top of that there's an ulterior factor: telcos like China Telecom need to move away from piss-poor voice by offering other services, and are looking to jump into thin clients hooked to their DSL lines.)

    Only problem is that these app subscriptions will have to compete with free. The free you'll get by forking for real hardware and pirating all the apps from your friends.

    But it's not about apps. Not yet. Now they just want you to to buy the machine and keep it in your bedroom.

  72. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Exaggerated, but should be usable

    I think CherryPal's greatly exaggerating the performance, and they really shouldn't.. they'll have people benchmark it and simply tear them a new one. But, as long as the CPU and chipset are reasonably modern, a dual-core 400mhz PowerPC-based setup should be quite pleasant as a desktop. And it's hard to argue with 2 watts.

  73. Vladimir Misev

    Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It’s LimePC!

    This box looks like another fruit: LimePC!

    Check Freescale site,

    Anyway, hardware platform looks interesting/promising.

  74. Snert Lee

    sophomorics into the breach

    I had successfully resisted the temptation, but now I must wonder aloud, metaphorically speaking...

    What will the customer service department to do remedy the situation when a user calls in to say she has a busted Cherry?

  75. storng.bare.durid
    Thumb Up

    @ Snert Lee

    "What will the customer service department to do remedy the situation when a user calls in to say she has a busted Cherry?"

    Err... gratz?

  76. Ben Burch

    I'll buy one...

    I have a number of things that HAVE to run all day and which are just not CPU-intensive and for which this is a great solution. These things currently run in an ancient 600 MHz iMac and are all running in the command-line layer. They will port just fine to Linux!

  77. Christian Berger

    Great box

    This box has quite a lot of potential. I personally would market not only the complete box, but also the board inside of it seperately.

    For example you could build a new case which looks like a desktop phone, maybe with a nice LCD screen and camera.

    Or maybe inside of a radio-like case. Or inside of a TV-set. There are lots of possibilities.

  78. Lodestone

    Is CherryPal actually a LimePC?

    The CherryPal seems to be a rebranded LimePC. Check out

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