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Cherrypal Mini-Laptop Now Runs Android 97

Posted by kdawson
from the what-you-can-actually-build-for-a-hundred-bucks dept.
kriston writes in about a new development with the Cherrypal mini laptop, which we discussed last December. "The Cherrypal Asia laptop is now shipping with Google Android installed (product page). This replaces the older Cherrypal Asia mini laptops that were running either Windows CE or a custom Linux. The $148 version has a 1024x600 screen while the sub-$100 model runs 800x480. Both laptops run the ARM9-based VIA 8505 SoIC platform at 533 MHz with 256 megabytes of RAM and 2 gigabytes of NAND flash. I'm looking forward to seeing how Android can squeeze more throughput out of the VIA 8505, since Windows CE didn't do such a great job on the original Cherrypal Asia."
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Cherrypal Mini-Laptop Now Runs Android

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  • by abigor (540274)

    The $118.00 Cherrypal Africa (Windows CE), seven inches no-thrills laptop for Internet browsing.

  • flexible specs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by naz404 (1282810) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:33AM (#32207068) Homepage
    AFAIK, Cherrypal delivers different kinds of laptops at different times.

    What's advertised on their website is the *minimum* specs that they guarantee you'll get. This means, when the unit actually ships to you, you can get a machine with specs actually higher than what was advertised on their site.

    From what I've heard, Cherrypal basically shops around for different parts/configs that they can get at a particular time, then they build machines out of those assorted parts -- that's why customers will get different kinds of machines with varying specs.
    • by rickb928 (945187)

      That's going to make warranty (and non-warranty) repairs quite interesting.

      Or 'impossible', depending on the spares stock and turnaround time.

      Still, for something less than the cost of a iPod Nano, pretty cool. I may need one of these. Sure hs a better keyboard than the Nano.

      • by yotto (590067)

        At some point (and I think $100 is below that point, at least for me) you don't worry about warranty.

        I'd personally be happy that my 533MHz $98 laptop turns out to actually be in the 700MHz range instead. Not that I'm looking for at sub-1GHz laptop but if I was, I would seriously look at this.

    • From what I've heard, those are the best case specs. http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2010-May/028512.html [laptop.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought Android IS a custom Linux, no?

    • by NNKK (218503)

      Uh, no.

      Android is used in many devices by many companies. The version used on any particular device may be customized somewhat for that device, but the Android platform as a whole is not a "custom" anything anymore than Red Hat is a "custom Linux".

      • by quantumplacet (1195335) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:52AM (#32207300)

        actually, considering Android has made kernel changes that have not been merged upstream, I would consider it a "custom linux".

        • by NNKK (218503)

          Apparently, then, you consider Apache to simply be a custom version of NCSA HTTPd.

          • by quantumplacet (1195335) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:19AM (#32207632)

            what the hell are you talking about? you said android is just linux, not custom linux. i pointed out that it is somewhat customized, and now (i think) you're claiming that android is NOT linux if i follow your horrendous analogy. wouldn't that refute your original point more than my response?

            either way the analogy is absolutely atrocious, since the situations could not be more different. android is currently a customized version of the kernel, which still takes in new changes from upstream but is not merging all of it's changes back. apache took over for ncsa httpd since it was being abandoned by ncsa, so there was nowhere to merge back up to and nothing to get new changes from.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        But most people don't care. We ship on openSuSE & SLED, primarily because that is the only distro that I've been able to run as a desktop consistently for a decade now with the fewest problems. Plus our larger customers can always get enterprise support from Novell if they want it.

        But when we're dealing with smaller customers and I tell them that we ship openSuSE they'll ask, "Well I want that Ubuntu." and are often confused or don't believe that there is not much difference between openSuSE Linux and

        • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:45AM (#32207934) Journal

          Me: "You know how you how a Chevy Pick up and and a GMC Pick up are the same truck with a different Grill?" Customer: "Yeah." Me: "Same thing. Ubuntu and SuSE are both linux, just with different grills." Customer: "Oh, okay. I get it."

          You are an idiot, point blank.

          The reality is more like comparing a Chevy pickup with a V8 engine, RWD, a 6 CD changer, and a touch-screen sat-nav... versus a GMC pickup with a V8 engine, a turbocharger, bigger exhaust, AWD, a CD player with MP3 DVD support, a sat-nav with console button controls, leather seats, and a hauling capacity 5000 pounds higher. One gets more fuel mileage, one is a better hauler. One has a 6 CD changer, one can be loaded with a fuckload of MP3s on a DVD. The satnav interfaces are different, one might update OTA and one by DVD.

          They're both GM pickups with the same engine though...

          • And much like the typical consumer, I would respond to that: I don't care about that crap, 99% of it is the same. They are the same trucks. The only important difference is the gas mileage vs hauling capacity, the rest is all grill.
            • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

              Exactly, who cares about gas mileage or hauling capacity when buying a truck, everyone knows that the grill is the most important factor.

            • The entire drivetrain is different, and the engine has different intake and exhaust manifolds and vastly different response characteristics. The suspension is different-- the front end is powered with a differential, rather than just independent MacPherson struts.

              Most importantly, you cannot slap parts in from one or the other. An Eagle Talon will easily accept Mitsubishi Eclipse parts from that year because they are the same car with different badging. Two trucks with the same engine, one with differe

        • by metamatic (202216)

          We ship on openSuSE [...] the only distro that I've been able to run as a desktop consistently for a decade now with the fewest problems

          Holy crap, talk about a case of "Your mileage may vary".

          I'm in the process of eliminating the last few OpenSuSE machines I have to worry about, because of the pain they've put me through.

      • Actually yes, the Android platform is a *very* customized Linux, the userspace for it is completely Google's invention, they basically took just the kernel and went from there. And as the other poster mentions, they made quite a lot of changes to the kernel as well. I think it would be fair to say that Android is the most extensive Linux fork to date, though they are at least trying to re-merge the kernel-level stuff.

        Distributions such as Red Hat, Debian, etc... make changes around the periphery, but they

    • by Urkki (668283)

      I thought Android IS a custom Linux, no?

      Depends on what you mean by "Linux". It runs a (custom) Linux kernel, but it's not a Linux Operating System in the sense that it can't run what most people would consider "regular Linux applications".

      Or to put it another way, If it doesn't quack like a penguin, it's not a penguin, not even if it has a transplanted penguin heart.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:35AM (#32207100) Homepage Journal

    The link takes me to a login/register page, I registered, and still can't log in. From where I'm sitting, Cherrypal is solely a spam information harvesting site. No links to a "Cherrypal Asia" exist on the products page. Had to hit the google cache [googleusercontent.com] to get information. I have budget for another netbook and would consider one if only I could log in.

    • by snookerdoodle (123851) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:43AM (#32207206)

      If you click on the "Open Store" link at the top then the "Buy Now" link, you'll see a couple of versions of the Asia. You do not have to log in to do this - I didn't even create an account.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        If I do that it sends me back to http://www.cherrypal.com/secure/login.php [cherrypal.com]. I do not have scripts disabled.

        My basic feeling is that a company that can't make a website can't make a netbook either

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The original link has the guy's session in it. http://www.cherrypal.com/secure/product_info.php?products_id=13 works

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The original link has the guy's session in it. http://www.cherrypal.com/secure/product_info.php?products_id=13 [cherrypal.com] works

          AC wins the prize, too bad we don't know where to send it. The specs list the SD slot as supporting 8GB, that makes no sense... But scares me away.

          • by kcbnac (854015)

            As with most SDHC devices, they test with what's available when first manufactured - and list that. Probably would support 16GB and 32GB cards. (Nokia's N900 lists 16GB MicroSDHC card support, because that was all that was available at the time, as an example)

            I haven't heard of a device supporting *some* SDHC cards and not all...just what the manufacturer (of that part or the whole machine) has tested. Is possible though, but that should violate the SDHC spec...

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              As with most SDHC devices, they test with what's available when first manufactured - and list that.

              16GB cards have been out for years and the OS on the machine almost certainly postdates the machine. Personally I'd have tested installing the OS on SD, and on the largest ones I could find.

              I think I will opt for one of these $130 android tablets on eBay as soon as I know they'll run Android newer than 1.6.

        • by alyawn (694153)
          Actually, I had to go clear out a session cookie, which they set from the included sessionId in the link. After I cleared the cookie, I was able to see the product using this link: http://www.cherrypal.com/secure/product_info.php?products_id=13 [cherrypal.com]
          • by kriston (7886)

            Yeah, I don't know what to tell you. My session ID (expired) is indeed in the original link. The Slashdot editors didn't seem to have any problems with it.

            Kriston

  • by Fortunato_NC (736786) <verlinh75 @ m s n . com> on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:36AM (#32207116) Homepage Journal

    Googling "Cherrypal fraud [google.com]" may prove instructive, if you happen to find the time. Wasn't there a front-page story on these guys taking money for computers and never delivering them? Why more attention to these scam artists?

    • by Megaweapon (25185) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:43AM (#32207214) Homepage

      Nonsense, a scam would have been caught by the crack Slashdot editing staff. /sarc

    • by alanw (1822) <alan@wylie.me.uk> on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:47AM (#32207248) Homepage

      The BBB report rates them only "F"

      http://sanjose.bbb.org/Business-Report/Cherrypal-1000000896 [bbb.org]

      • by orkysoft (93727)

        Company Rating F
        Our opinion of what this rating means:
        We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.

        No, really?

        The Bing is the Thing! Runs XP, 13.3', the maxi laptop for

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      A company run by a guy styling himself Max Seybold? How on earth could that not be trustworthy? You can't have a name like that without speaking about yourself in the 3rd person, having shoulders wide enough to land an F-18 on, and a jaw so square you could set your watch by it.

      What, that didn't make sense to you? Max Seybold says that's because you're not Max Seybold , punk.

      • by psergiu (67614)

        Fun Facts about Max Seybold:

        Under the nickname of "cherrypal" he edits the Wikipedia articles to remove or downplay all mentions about the scam.

    • by alcmaeon (684971)
      Well, see, the Cherrypal promises to make you an eternal fraud virgin. Every time you get your fraud cherry popped, your Cherrypal will put it back in. That's the promise of this new technology.
    • by Skal Tura (595728)

      To me they refunded due to CC handler issues without me having to request or anything, they simply did that a month later or so.

      • by kriston (7886)

        I ordered four times before I got my laptop but it was because of a couple of things. First there's very few people handling the orders. Second, there were supply problems from the original equipment manufacturers. Third, as a result of these, orders were delayed, and the sheer number of customers complaining to both Cherrypal and their credit card processor caused the credit card processor to drop the Cherrypal account. There was also some talk of hacking that also got another credit card processor to

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I thought they sounded familiar..

      Would be nice to have a sub 150$ arm based netbook tho.. or a desktop.

    • by psergiu (67614)

      I tried to order one in December 2009. They finally returned my money almost 2 months later ONLY AFTER i filled a fraud complaint with my bank. Before filling the complaint they ingored all my e-mails.

      And unfortunatelly i'm not the only one. A couple of friends tried to order and received the same treatment.

      Thank God i ordered using my Credit Card - the people who sent the money using Western Union never got them back.

      It's a scam and this article shoule be tagged as scam

      • by kriston (7886)

        It's not a scam. They were overwhelmed with orders and as a result they lost orders and order records back in December. This is very common for small businesses, but since this is a too-good-to-be-true-sounding cheap laptop people naturally reported it as a scam to the credit card processors and the BBB.

        Nobody lost any money, but those customers did get frustrated and did lose time, and for some people "time is money."

        As for Cherrypal, they should have used Amazon Fulfillment or some other fulfillment ser

  • by nextvolume (1811624) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:38AM (#32207136)
    We have been playing on these since a while... well, they're not exactly CherryPals, but they're totally compatible (after all the CherryPals are just stuff they get from Chinese factories with their logos on). And yes, they have a WonderMedia WM8505 processor. Here is our forum about this: http://tinyurl.com/easypc-forum [tinyurl.com] And there is also a version of Linux running on the previous models by Cherrypal (for example the Africa) which has a VIA VT8500 instead of the WonderMedia WM8505 at http://tails92.sepwich.com/easypc_linux [sepwich.com]
    • Since CherryPal seems to be dodgy at worst, and minimally talented rebadge guys at best, what is the preferred direct source for the WM8505 or VT8500 based devices?

      Is this an Alibaba, lots of 100+ thing?, Ebay?, Ebay and a bit of luck?, Dealextreme?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by nextvolume (1811624)
        Yes, most people who have these search an auction on Ebay and then bid. Most people who won the auctions received their netbooks fully working and without any problems. Sometimes they're also sold at local stores. In fact I bought one at a local store here. But keep in mind that the stock shops have usually isn't renewed when they run out, and so you have to buy it when you see it available.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Is there a matrix of success stories someplace? I see lots of ARM-based netbooks running WinCE on eBay, but I'm not sure which ones will work properly (i.e. all hardware supported and working well) with Linux.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by nextvolume (1811624)
            As long as it has a VIA VT8500 or WonderMedia WM8505, it should be all right. Do not get the ones with AKARM/Anyka processor as it is another system on chip (SoC) which has no public Linux port / not supported by Linux. Systems with Samsung ARM SoCs should have a Linux port as well but tend to cost slightly more. The Linux port for the VT8500 has no sound and wireless probably is not working, but apart from that, works very well (albeit with 2.6.10, which is a bit outdated). This is what I use on my netboo
      • eBay + Luck.

        I bid on twenty and won one for $80 shipped.

        But it was an AK7802 rather than WM8505, which means no linux or android currently available.

        The seller gave me a partial refund because of the mistake. Now I'm just waiting patiently for someone to figure out how to get another OS running.

        Anyka AK7802 forums: http://mininetbooks.your-board.com/ [your-board.com]

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:38AM (#32207146) Homepage Journal

    Cherrypal, an obscure company that sells $99 netbooks, has dropped Linux in favor of Android in its bottom-shelf PC line.

    Soon we'll see companies dropping Linux in favor of MeeGo or Fedora or Ubuntu. Perhaps to be expected from a WinCE site.

    Anybody see the Coby NBPC722 Coby NBPC722 [itproportal.com] stateside yet?

    • by Imagix (695350)
      Um, Fedora and Ubuntu are Linux as well. Haven't looked at MeeGo much, but offhand it looks like another Linux distro.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Um, Fedora and Ubuntu are Linux as well. Haven't looked at MeeGo much, but offhand it looks like another Linux distro.
        Whooooosh!
        • by geekoid (135745)

          Android is a linux derivative.

          Just so you know.

        • by naz404 (1282810)
          Just for those who don't know, MeeGo is the bastard child of Maemo Linux used on the Nokia N900 and Intel's MobLin.

          It is named after an alien named Meego played by Bronson Pinchot who used to be Balki Bartokomous on the TV show Perfect Strangers.
          • by Rysc (136391) *

            To clarify, here "alien" is "immigrant" and not an alien like Robin Williams' Mork of Mork & Mindy.

            • by naz404 (1282810)
              uhhh... Meego is a 9,000-year-old shape-shifting alien from the planet "Marmazon 4.0". Well, I guess that falls under illegal alien. Should be quarantined too...
      • by Shompol (1690084)
        So is Android. He was being sarcastic.
    • Android is linux-based, but that's somewhat like saying OSX is BSD. In many ways that is true, but in others it's an incomplete truth. I'd actually like it more if Android *did* use more of 'nix, but it appears to mainly be the kernel base and some tools. The graphic system doesn't seem to be X-based, and there are a lot of things added/removed compared to a standard linux Distro.

      Personally, I'd love it if my Droid did incorporate more of a standard linux desktop. For example,the GUI system doesn't seem to

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Android is linux-based, but that's somewhat like saying OSX is BSD. In many ways that is true, but in others it's an incomplete truth. I'd actually like it more if Android *did* use more of 'nix, but it appears to mainly be the kernel base and some tools. The graphic system doesn't seem to be X-based, and there are a lot of things added/removed compared to a standard linux Distro.

        Android is an environment using the Linux kernel as its base. Android is everything above that, covering all of user space. There

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Android is an environment using the Linux kernel as its base. Android is everything above that, covering all of user space. There's really no "Unix" to speak of in it

          It really doesn't matter; once you have Linux you can run Debian in a CoLinux environment and avoid even having to worry about Android's libc, although the Android kernel might need a few changes — mostly turning features back on that they will have disabled. In fact, that might be a fun android app; you'd host it on the NDK and provide a terminal interface as a Java application, satisfying the Android app Java UI requirement. If you made it very very small, perhaps by starting with just libc, busybox

          • by oakgrove (845019)

            I've been running Debian Lenny in a chroot on my G1 almost since I first got the phone and it has been working perfectly the whole time. I have the terminal app set to automatically initialize it whenever I click on it. Takes less than a second to set the mount points including a bind mount for the sdcard so I can access my data and get me going. For all intents and purposes, it may as well be native. If I were so inclined, I could even start a vncserver inside of it and run the chroot as a service and

      • Android is linux-based, but that's somewhat like saying OSX is BSD. In many ways that is true, but in others it's an incomplete truth.

        um... what? I'm not sure where you get your information, but Mac OS X is BSD, as much as FreeBSD is BSD, as much as NetBSD is BSD, as much as DragonflyBSD is BSD. Less specifically, Mac OS X is UNIX [wikipedia.org]

        Now, if you're gonna complain that OS X doesn't have a BSD kernel, then I'll take issue with it. Mach was developed to be used with BSD, so that a whole new OS wouldn't be necessary... it just "plugs-in," so to speak. Therefore, I suggest, even though there are OS's that are not BSD using the Mach kernel, the M

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:02AM (#32207398)

    . . . she is one! Make sure that you get one with the memory chip, because there are plenty of Cherry 2000's, but the chips are scarce.

  • "533 MHz with 256 megabytes of RAM and 2 gigabytes of NAND flash" - should be enough to run a base Debian install with a browser and run Bibud [bibud.com] on top of it. For the price, that could be a pretty nifty machine.
  • What is the difference between a "mini-laptop" and a "netbook?"
  • by Tei (520358) on Friday May 14, 2010 @12:02PM (#32208114) Journal

    Do you want to see my netbook? is "a 7-inch bit of fun." (sic)

  • If it doesn't have a touch screen, then I call "Fail!". Unless they've done a lot of work on the interface.

    I've installed Android x86 on a netbook and it is horrendous with out a touch screen.

    Android, since it's roots are for mobile phones, really wants to be touch driven. Without it, I'll pass.

  • I think their logo may win this year's Unintentionally Sexual Logo category.

  • I found myself turned on by the thought of an almost pocket sized, dirt cheap portable so I head over to the Cherrypal site... Being almost immediately struck by the illogic of the site's setup & functionality I used the Google machine to look up anything on Cherrypal there was... This is what I kept running into: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69600 [mobileread.com] For what its worth it changed my mind & I thought it couldn't hurt to share...
    • by psergiu (67614)

      Mod parent up Informative.

      I was one of the few ones who managed to get their money back from CherryPal.

      CherryPal is a scam.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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