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Low-cost, £66 PC announced

$129 system for rural users in China

A Chinese PC maker today revealed a low-cost system that will cost only £66. Designed for customers in rural China, the computer can be used with a television as a display.

The 998 renminbi (£66) Tian En GX-2 was developed by Sichuan Sinomanic Technology LLC, 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 OS. The GX-2 has 128MB of DDR (double data rate) DRAM, one USB 2.0 port, a 10/100M bps (bits per second) ethernet adapter, and a 1GB SD (Secure Digital) memory card to store data.

The PC, which doesn't 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 OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project, which the group recently said costs about $130. That system is expected to enter volume production during the third quarter of this year.


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