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Mon 4 Aug 2008 05:22 PM

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The cheapest laptop in the world

Taiwanese vendor Carapelli's Impulse NPX-9000 stakes a claim to the low-end of the netbook market.

Taiwanese computer vendor Carapelli is offering what it says is the world's smallest and cheapest laptop, priced at a mere $129 each (AED 473), for minimum orders of 100 units.

We grabbed our test unit from the Carapelli showroom in Computer Street, Bur Dubai, which has just received its first shipments.

The Impulse NPX-9000, has a 7 inch screen, a 400MHz processor, 128MB RAM and 1GB of flash storage - no hard disk drive there, and it runs a customized version of Linux operating system with word processing, spreadsheet and media applications. There is also English to Chinese dictionary which seems targeting Chinese students learning English.

Other features include an SD card slot, VGA port, two USB ports, and a mini USB port in addition to two audio ports, one for the microphone and the second is for the earphone Jack.

The 80-key keyboard with the touchpad seems of good quality. The test unit came with external USB LAN adapter and there is an optional 802.11g Wi-Fi dongle for wireless internet access which means, you'll have to pay more to get wireless internet.

The NPX-9000 comes with a small selection of software, mainly file viewers and browsers, including: • Excel File Viewer and Editor• Word File Viewer and Editor• Internet Browser• Media Player• Flash Viewer• O-Image Photo Viewer• Typing - Word Processor• Drawpad - Paint Application• Pointer Application

Starting the machine, we were greeted with a special welcome screen, then there was a familiar graphical user interface with a ‘Start' button and the program list. We were disappointed a bit with the graphics as the desktop icons seemed a bit old, so it takes you back to 16 bit depth of colour - that is only 64 thousand colours and 800x480 resolution.

Ripping video on your desktop is your best way to watch movies on the Impulse NPX-9000, you can use a flash desk to transfer the video files to the tiny netbook. The device recognized our Kingston flash disk that has 4 GB. Some video files played well, but we had to get AVI video only. While watching a movie on the device was good enough in full screen mode, we faced some problems with the audio of those movies as it did not sound right with some files.

Browsing the internet was not so easy as the screen is filled with the status bar and other menus taking up most of the screen. You have only one English font and another two Chinese fonts which would not be that useful in this region.

For more information, see the Impulse site.

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Khaled Alnatour 11 years ago

Dear Sir, I am a Dubai resident and I am interested in having an individual purchase for 2 or 3 units of your offer of the The Impulse NPX-9000 which is the smallest and cheapest notebook on the market at present. Kindly , reply me where and how to purchase the above mentioned two units as soon as possible.

Muaz 11 years ago

Hi, can u please tell me where i can buy this amazing laptop. pls reply.

Ruediger Leibrandt 11 years ago

The NPX-9000 is quite a nice laptop - I ordered mine as a sample for evaluation purposes for my workplace - as it is robust, cheap, and performs well within its capabilities. What is making me a little sad is the fact that the sources of the Highne2008 Linux are seemingly nowhere available on the internet, making it almost impssible to add own programs. Well, we managed to put our own software onto it, though we cheated: We use a 16GB SD-Card formatted as EXT3, and using a Debian Linux and CDEBOOTSTRAP we installed our own default Debian Lenny onto the card, and modified the bootscript of the original Highne System to CHROOT into the system on the Card. we have a performance loss, well, yes, and the device is almost impossible to put into Suspend, but we hope we'll get Carapelli Industry teased with the test-setup we prepared for them and store since almost a month on our server to reconsider their current setup and let us help them enhance it vastly.