Monday, May 25, 2009

Norhtec and Xcore86 Offer Low-cost Linux Solutions

is a System on Chip (SoC) manufacturer based in Thailand and run by Michael Barnes. He also founded and runs NorhTec, which provides low-cost systems and emphasizes thin clients. The bonus? He is also a columnist for and his bio specifically mentions Linux and Open Source software. Most of Norhtec's products specify whether they work with or include Linux and/or FreeBSD.

The product I'm interested in is the pre-release Gecko Edubook, which will probably retail for about US$250. Watch the video below for information:

The specs:
CPU 1GHz Xcore86 Device on Chip™
Graphics Integrated Graphics Chip
Memory 256MB / 512MB / 1GB DDR2
Display 8.9" WSVGA 1024 x 600 resolution TFT LCD screen with LED
HDD SD Card or IDE Flash Disk
Audio Line-out, Mic-in, Internal Mic, Internal stereo speakers
Ethernet Built in 10/100 Base-T
USB 2.0 ports External : 3 ports, Inernal : 1 port (reserved for WIFI, GPRS,
CDMA, 3G or 3.5G USB dongles)
I/O D-sub 15 pin VGA out, integrated SD card reader, touch pad
Power / Battery Rechargeable AA Battery - NiMH 8 pcs (4 hours max) or
Li+3S (4 hours max) or Li+3S2P (6 hours max)
AC 100V-240V (no external adapter)

Thailand may not be on your top list of computer producers, but they actually do a lot of fabrication work there. I used to live next to the AMD factory in northern Bangkok, and I knew a lot of fab and hard drive engineers. NorhTec may not be a huge company, but they certainly have access to a lot of great factories right on their front door.

When I get back to Thailand and open my charity, maybe I can get a deal from him, eh? One could hope.

Update: My gal is visiting Thailand this week, and the Gecko Edubook is coincidentally being released this week, so she's picking one up for me and I'll review it when she gets back next week.


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