Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Laptop Running on AA Batteries

…….and costing under $200. And maybe as low as $135 if acquired bare-bones.

Such could describe the newly-introduced Gecko EduBook produced by Norhtec.

Bundled like a regular small laptop with an 8.9 inch screen configured at resolution of 1024x600, it runs on 8 rechargeable (NiMH) batteries that can be recharged while installed inside the notebook. Using a regular power cord without the heavy adaptor appendage.

Its core chip module with the CPU and RAM, called the Xcore86, another product of NorhTec, is the size of a typical full-featured cell phone. Updating the unit simply requires removing and changing the module.

It operates quietly without any whirring fan. It has instead a heat sink to dissipate heat generated.

Features include the following:
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 backlight
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)

As seen here even amidst all the negative repercussions of a very deep global recession, we still see fearless innovation in the forefront. Creative minds continue to look for products that are not only cheaper, but adaptive to changing consumer needs.

Lately, I have shifted my usage to rechargeable batteries – for my digital cameras, flashlights, and other consumer electronic products requiring batteries. In the long run, one saves quite a lot adopting the change.

While initially the change will involve additional outlay, in the long run it will redound to considerable savings. A pair of AA rechargeable batteries will cost over 300 pesos compared to about a 100 pesos for standard batteries. A dependable Made In China battery charger will cost an additional 125 pesos. Suggest you get an extra charger for convenience.

Now both standard and rechargeable batteries last almost the same time as tests have proved. But guess what happens next?

Dead standard batteries are thrown away, but rechargeable batteries come back again, and again, and again, etc., fully charged and good as new.


  1. Cool. As cheap as some college text books. No reason now while all kids shouldn't have one of those for school. Put a wifi antenna on em and you got the whole class connected, right? Lots of cool possibilities when you start getting them that inexpensive...

  2. Phil:

    Locally, some stores sell even cheaper laptops and PCs, though all used and coming from abroad.

    And if one is close enough, one can connect to a neighbor's unsecured WiFi.

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