first_imgWhile the more developed countries may have an abundance of choice when it comes to selecting a computer, developing countries can hardly afford them. A number of companies are trying to change that by offering cheap computers, with the standout example being the OLPC.Next month the charity foundation Raspberry Pi starts its bid to make computers available to everyone with a $25 PC, but this week we’re hearing about a new, cheap netbook from Vodafone. More specifically, Vodafone’s subsidiary in South Africa called Vodacom has created a $188 netbook that runs Ubuntu and is called the Webbook.The internals of the Webbook are nothing special, but then this is all about the cost. At its heart the Vodacom Webbook runs a Cortex-A8 Freescale iMX51 processor clocked at 800MHz, includes 512MB RAM, has a 10-inch LCD, and 4GB of on-board flash storage. It will run the ARM version of Ubuntu 11.10.As this is Vodafone, as well as offering base hardware there’s the option to plug in a modem and a SIM card. However, that takes the price up considerably. With both installed and a 12 month contract the netbook is $238. Alternatively, a user can choose to pay $188 for the netbook and then $24 per month for access on a two year contract, getting the modem and SIM as part of the package.There is one further issue with the extra expense of the data subscription and hardware: the data allowance each month is incredibly low at just 100MB if you choose the $238 option. Opting to pay $24 every month for two years increases that to a more respectable 500MB.The netbook may be just right for someone in South Africa as a first computer, but the high cost of a data subscription may keep many of these netbooks offline.Read more at Linux for Devices and Engadgetlast_img