Review of the $100 Android Notebook: Hivision PWS700CA

While Google is busy working on a Chrome Operating System for notebooks which will be available later this year, some manufacturers have taken it in their own hands to put the Google Android Mobile Operations System on cheap ARM powered notebooks.

Charbax from has been testing the Hivision PWS700CA Android powered notebook, which he thinks could easily be sold at retailers like Walmart or Best Buy for under $100.

As he points out in the video review of the Hivision PWS700CA, Android is replacing Windows CE and other “crappy” versions of Linux as the operating system on these very cheap computers which is a welcome change but the demonstration shows that there are still some limitations.

While it is great to see a more modern operating system coming to these ultra cheap devices the video demonstration only highlights the problem with putting an inherently mobile and touchscreen based OS onto a non touchscreen device. The function keys have had to be tweaked to handle standard home and menu buttons found on mobile phones, the on screen keyboard shows up even though there is a hard keyboard attached, you have to click and move the page for scrolling and there is no access to the official Android Marketplace.

Still, the device is snappy and loads web pages pretty fast over the MiFi connection that is being used and it looks much better than the Windows CE cheap notebooks that I have seen. Hopefully Hivision will be able to make the Android OS work better on a notebook style device before they attempt to bring it to market. Even with the Chrome OS coming quickly, an ARM powered Android Notebook like the Hivision PWS700CS has a place in the market so long as they can overcome the hurdles of porting a touchscreen driven OS to a non touchscreen device.

SANY0011image via

Hivision PWS700CA Specs:

  • Rockchip RK2808 600mhz ARM926 processor
  • 128SDRAM
  • 7″ 800×480 screen
  • 720p Video playback support
  • WiFi, Ethernet, audio input/output
  • Weighs 1.4 pounds
  • Estimated cost under $100

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