Eee PC hailed as top computer for developing countries


Three African Universities have lauded the Asus Eee PC as the best low-power computer option for developing countries. The study, conducted by charity Computer Aid, put three laptops and two ‘thin client’ solutions through their paces. The Eee was ranked top by teams in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

The Eee didn’t rank top in every category – the OLPC XO won out on power consumption but ranked poorly for performance. The Intel Classmate was the opposite – doing well in performance tests but with its battery not holding out for long enough.

The ‘thin client’ solutions – the Inveneo Computing Station and Ncomputing X300 – were criticised as too expensive. The research team at Kenyatta University said:

“Asus had the best solution for an average individual owner and user in rural Africa who needs a low power PC, while Ncomputing proved to be the more viable choice for many learning institutions.”

It’s interesting that Asus’ netbook still wins out in the developing world, especially as the netbook revolution was founded on attempts to make low-cost PCs for developing countries. The results proved just as appealing to western markets.

(via @wildfirepr)

Super-efficient LED lighting now a real possibility within five years


The quest for cheaper, more environmentally-friendly lighting has taken another leap forward with scientists’ new-found ability to produce much cheaper LEDs.

The New Scientist article goes into quite significant detail about how the process was achieved in order to avoid the LEDs cracking during the manufacturing process (due to the high heat required to grow them) so I won’t attempt to look clever here by regurgitating it.

Suffice it to say, the “new” LEDs can be produced for around a tenner per 150,000 units…

Novatech Ion: the ultra-cheap desktop PC with netbook innards


That headline doesn’t sound hugely appealing, if I’m honest, but the Novatech Ion is exactly that — a very cheap desktop PC that utilises processor technology more often found in ultra-portable notebook PCs.

Claiming the Ion to be the lowest cost 17-inch widescreen PC on the UK market, Novatech uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, a DVD burner, 5.1-channel audio, and DirectX 9 Intel graphics…