This $150 biodegradable keyboard has an Intel processor inside
In a word: A London company called Pentaform plans to start selling a biodegradable keyboard that can run Windows 10 for just $150 later this month. He created the system, dubbed AbacusBasic, to help connect people to the Internet who otherwise couldn’t afford a computer.
According to Pentaform, the Abacus is the most affordable computer in the world. It’s a regular desktop keyboard with a trackpad stuck to the side and a hidden quad-core system underneath. It doesn’t have a screen, but it does have an HDMI port.
Part of what makes it special is its environmental friendliness. Pentaform co-founder Joon Sang Lee said the Abacus “views the planet as one of its primary beneficiaries.” Its outer shell is made from a biodegradable polymer and its interior components are designed to be repairable and recyclable.
Pentaform says the Abacus only consumes 31 kWh per year, about the same as a light bulb. Makes sense, given that the 2016 quad-core it uses, the Intel Atom x5-Z8350, has an SDP (script design power) of just 2W.
Despite its low power consumption, the Atom manages a base clock of 1.44 GHz and a boost clock of 1.84 GHz. It seems slow, but I’ve used this processor before and, as Pentaform claims, it’s fine for simple tasks like web browsing.
Pentaform pairs it with 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB memory configurations of dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 1,866MHz, which is the fastest it can support. If the memory was DDR4, 4GB would probably suffice, but since that’s so slow, going with 8GB is probably worth it.
However, if it was me, I’d immediately install a lightweight Linux distro, and then the hardware wouldn’t matter as much. Words can’t express the difference Linux can make to the liveliness of an underpowered PC and the Abacus was never intended for Windows-specific applications, like games, anyway.
Linux would also do for the advertised use cases of Abacus, like “learning to code and tinkering”. Also, “browse the web, create and edit documents, watch videos and more”.
If you’re interested in trying out the Abacus when it’s released in the near future, you’ll only have to shell out £120/$150, or less if you get the early access discount. But as with all new businesses, you have to wait for other people to receive their orders before handing over your money.
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