back to article Foxconn working on 'sub-£100' ARM-based Linux netbooks

Will ARM-based netbooks retail for under £100? The Taiwanese contract manufacturer behind the Foxconn brand seems to think so. A Hon Hai Precision staffer - one Young Liu, special assistant to the company's CEO - admitted this week that "we have a few smartbook projects and I think there is demand for these sub-$200 devices …


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  1. Uncle Slacky

    $200 <> £97

    $200 is closer to £120 at today's exchange rate...

  2. JasonH

    Exchange rate

    *splutter* *cough, cough*

    Which exchange rate are we using here? It's been almost a year since the pound traded at those levels. Current UKP/USD rates are between £1 = $1.6 to 1.65, so the $200 comes out as roughly £120 to £125.

    I dream of the pound being worth two dollars and change again, but even more of the pound buying one and a half euros. Holidays and visits to the Eurozone are frankly scary at the moment.

    P.S. You owe me a new keyboard, and that's a proper UK keyboard with £, $ and € signs...

  3. DemonIT

    $200 USD is not sub £100!

    Try £120 +

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Import duties ?

    I can understand VAT, but what import duties are levied - does anyone know ?

  5. Ryan 7


    You just made me check the exchange rate!

    Also @Uncle Slacky:

    All the cool kids use !=


  6. Havin_it

    Don't be silly...

    As any fule kno, the US > UK exchange rate for consumer electronics is

    $200 = £200

  7. Big Bear


    Isn't that a fruit based exchange rate?

  8. Martin Nicholls
    Paris Hilton


    "but what import duties are levied - does anyone know"

    None on laptops afaik - though PDAs are 3.something%, maybe they'll be bitchy and go somewhere down the middle for netbooks :)

    Paris doesn't do tax.

  9. Reinhard Schu

    Atom based netbooks £300-£400?

    Not sure what planet the author is living on. $200 are not £100, we have already established that. And Atom-based netbooks do not cost £300-£400. A quick look at the current offers from the mainstream suppliers reveals Atom Netbooks are priced between £200-£300 and down to sub £200 if Linux based.

  10. PaulM 1

    Linux development must be supported on ARM netbooks

    The ARM processor is a low power high performance processor well suited for netbooks.

    Unfortunately the ARM processor is not often used in netbooks. This means that to use Linux software on an ARM based netbook a "C" compiler and other utilities such as "perl" and "bash" must be supplied to compile its source code for the ARM processor. Linux software is described as being "Open source" software. Linux software is not always available in compiled form for none Intel processors and so such systems are useless without compilers.

    What I would like to know is whether these netbooks will be supplied with a basic "C" development system? A basic set of development utilities is very small and so could be easily provided in the FLASH memory supplied with these systems. Alternatively a "C" compiler could be provided on CD for these systems so long as they support an external CD drive?

    I am sure that someone will say "Ah but all people want to do with these systems is to surf the web and edit a memo". My answer to them is that you can do this using a mobile phone. A real Linux system must have the ability to run thousands of different programs.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @PaulM 1

    Clearly you don't use linux or know anything about the breadth of its architecture support. The GNU C compiler collection is fully supported on ARM cpus and Ubuntu have already released a complete version of their distro for ARM, many major distributions support ARM and Adobe have been working closely with ARM to ensure flash works fluidly on ARM systems for a good while now.

    Next time do a little research.

  12. PaulM 1
    Gates Halo


    I am perfectly aware that you can do ARM Linux cross development on a desk top PC.

    However, if I was to buy a Linux netbook I would want to be able to development work such as running perl scripts on my netbook.

    My point is that a Linux netbook is of little more use than a mobile phone if it can not be used for simple development. Given that mobile companies will give you a PDA mobile phone free as part of a mobile phone contract then it really is more sensible to buy a PDA mobile phone than a Linux netbook.

    I am sick and tired of bloatware. If I have a PC in my pocket that is as powerful as a desktop PC from 10 years ago then I want to be able to do development on my netbook.

    I wonder if these limitations apply also to XP netbooks. Are they similarily crippled so that you can not develop simple Visual Basic using an XP netbook?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    current netbooks (@PaulM)

    I'm currently using an Acer Aspire One for web development, I run a local instance of apache and use perl/CGI and mysql to run the backend. Obviously I'm running linux on this machine because it's a)better than windows and b)not crippled. The ARM based netbooks should have similar hardware capabilities.

    On a slightly off-topic note Visual Basic is shit. It's an awful abomination of a language.

  14. Tom 52

    Similar to the Touch Book?

    Something like Always Innovating's Touch Book then, but slightly cheaper... maybe.

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