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Low-cost Linux-compatible laptop ships in Vietnam

Dec 27, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

A low-cost laptop for children based on Intel's Classmate PC design is now shipping in computer stores in Vietnam. Hacao's Classmate PC is pre-installed with Hacao Linux 2.16 Professional, a Vietnamese-language distribution based on Puppy Linux.

As reported in DesktopLinux in October, the Hacao Classmate PC is closely based on the Intel Classmate PC, a rival educational laptop to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project for seeding low-cost Linux-based laptops to students in developing nations. Meanwhile, Intel has also joined the OLPC initiative.

Hacao Classmate PC
(Click to enlarge)

The Hacao Classmate PC is equipped with an ultra-low power 900MHz Celeron processor with a 400MHz FSB (front-side bus), teamed with 256MB of RAM and 1GB of Flash-based local storage. The 2.9-pound device measures 9.6 x 7.7 x 1.7 inches (245 x 196 x 44mm), and features a 7-inch WVGA (800 x 480) LCD display.

It also includes both wired and wireless (802.11b/g) Ethernet interfaces, but lacks the OLPC laptop's “mesh” networking capability. (The latters allows multiple wireless laptops to access the Internet though a single wired device.)

Hacao Classmate PC display
(Click to enlarge)

The Hacao Linux 2.16 Professional distribution was released in June by Hacao, says Nguyen Quang Truong, director of the company. Currently available only in a Vietnamese-language version, the 281MB distro is about three times the size of its Puppy Linux cousin.

According to Truong, the Vietnamese government chose Hacao Linux for its educational system over the Classmate's alternative Windows XP operating system because the Classmate's relatively low performance kept it from effectively using Windows. Moreover, he says, Windows would add $38 (US) per unit to the overall cost while Hacao Linux costs only a $2 labor fee for installation.

Hacao Classmate PC, ready to carry to school
(Click to enlarge)


The Hacao Classmate PC is available now in Vietnamese computer stores for $340 (US). A version aimed at the school market is discounted to $250. More information is available here.

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