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CherryPal: Green Cloud-Computer (Almost)

CherryPal™ is trying to change the world one computer at a time. We’ve created the most affordable, easiest to use and greenest desktop computer available.

That’s the statement from the company’s website. I buy the the greenest argument, not so sure about the others.  These are the specs of the new $249 tiny PC announced today:

  • Freescale’s MPC5121e mobileGT processor, 800 MIPS (400 MHz) of processing
  • 256 MB of DDR2 DRAM
  • 4GB NAND Flash-based solid state drive
  • WiFi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • One 10/100 Ethernet with RJ-45 jack
  • One VGA DB-15 display out jack
  • Headphone level stereo audio out 3.5mm jack
  • 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
  • Weighs 10 ounces
  • 1.3” high, 5.8” x 4.2” wide

It is indeed very small, the size of an average paperback, and the power consumption is an amazing 2W only.  That is, until you start using it – presumably you’d like to see what you’re doing and will need to attach a monitor.  Which brings us to the issue of price. It’s really hard to find an LCD display for $150 or less, even if you go down to the 15″ range – add a keyboard and mouse, and you’re likely in the $450 range, which puts the Cherry in the range of several low end desktops, even sub-notebooks.   Of course none will be as green and few as silent as the CherryPal.

CherryPal is positioned as a Cloud-PC, and it comes with 50G of free online storage, dubbed the CherryPal Cloud. Does this sound like a familiar combo?  Zonbu, the $99 Green PC that Cost You $249 is quite comparable, although they charge a subscription fee, while the Cherry-Cloud is free. How can they afford it?   The company says they will play ads when you start the applications.

Now, let’s go back to why I think it’s *almost* a Cloud Computer: it still has heavyweight desktop software. OpenOffice is a popular MS Office alternative, and is free, but is known as a resource hog. It’s not going to be fun on a 256MB computer.  If the Cheery Pal is a Cloud PC, why not go all the way: forget desktop software, just bring up the browser and make Zoho or Google Apps the homepage.

Update: CherryPal is alive, on Twitter and lives on Jelly Bellies :-)

Update# 2: TechCrunch wants to build a $200 Web Tablet. Is this real or a joke? :-)

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