Chinese PC maker offers $129 system for rural users

A Chinese PC maker has introduced a low-cost PC designed for users in rural China.

A Chinese PC maker has introduced a low-cost PC designed for customers in rural China that can be used with a television as a display.

The 998 renminbi (US$129) Tian En GX-2 was developed by Sichuan Sinomanic Technology, based in the western Chinese city of Chengdu, and is being pitched as a low-cost system that can help narrow the "digital divide" between China's rural and urban areas.

The GX-2 is based on a 400MHz MIPS processor from Raza Microelectronics. It runs either a version of the Linux operating system or FutureAlpha, a Chinese-developed operating system. The GX-2 has128M bytes of DDR (double data rate) DRAM, one USB 2.0 port, a 10/100M bps (bits per second) Ethernet adapter, and a 1G-byte SD (Secure Digital) memory card to store data.

The PC, which does not include a monitor, has a VGA (video graphics array) output for computer monitors as well as a TV output. This capability could help some users save money as televisions are found in most homes across China.

Software that comes bundled with the GX-2 includes an Internet browser, a Chinese-English dictionary and a calendar application for managing appointments, among others, Sinomanic said.

The price of the GX-2 is roughly the same as the laptop developed by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which the group recently said costs about US$130. That system is expected to enter volume production during the third quarter of this year.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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