$99 Android Netbook

5 Nov

Craig Android Netbook Computer

Drug stores sometimes have the craziest little gadgets. I was at Rite Aid today and spotted this 7 inch netbook running Android 2.2 by Craig. They’re just $99.99 today (it’s not clear if the price goes up after Nov 5) and I almost bought one out of curiosity.

Craig Android Netbook Computer

I don’t know where else they’re selling this, but I only found it on the Rite Aid website. More detailed specs are on the Craig website.

UPDATE: Based the comments I’m getting, including on the very helpful, lengthy review left here (below) by RK, I really don’t suggest you buy one of these things. Also, RK suggests the specs on the Craig website refer to a different computer, so watch out. (Nov 29, 2011)

UPDATE #2: Dan B. thought this netbook was a good deal for $50, see below for his review. (June 24, 2012)

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6 Responses to “$99 Android Netbook”

  1. Aimee Aspery November 8, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    I just bought this from Zellers($99), for my 10 year old daughter, for Christmas, it was the last one so I grabbed it not knowing much, if anything about it. I turned it on and it looks cool but haven’t been able to find any kind customer reviews or information about it besides its specs. Does any one know where I would find some reviews??

    • five November 8, 2011 at 2:32 am #

      Oddly, I haven’t seen any reviews of this product. I’ll try to post again if I see anything though.

  2. RK November 29, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I tried one. General summary: The specs are very promising — 800MHz ARM CPU, 3 USB ports, SD slot, WiFi, and wired ethernet in a compact, low cost package. But what they’ve done is slap a load of touch-screen software on a netbook with no touch-screen, and the result is that everything seems broken until you figure out how to work around it: the touchpad doesn’t come close to being a useable substitute. There are no games installed, but the Aldiko book reader comes with “The Art of War”: not sure who the target audience is. Manual says apps are locked to prevent removal.

    Other details:

    – Can’t access USB flash drives at all: status bar shows drive has been connected, but has exclamation mark beside it; option in menu to reformat the drive is greyed out. Logitech USB mouse works ok, others don’t.

    – SD cards will mount, and files can be accessed using the file browser, but MyMusic and MyVideo show no contents, just a notice re “syncing SD 50%” but that just flickers, never progresses.

    – Can’t record anything with myRecorder: tried using 2 known-good microphones, and just got static. There appears to be no built-in mic (nor camera).

    – Wall-wart is the noisiest I’ve ever heard. I put it down in the basement to charge — stops people from complaining that it’s giving them headaches. There’s a strict warning not to overcharge the battery, and to charge it for 10 hours before first use, but it seems to turn off (LED goes out, noise stops) automatically within a few hours. Battery life is ~1 hour; when you get the 15% warning, you’ve got 1-2 minutes before shut down. Pressing the Zzz key instantly darkens the screen, but doesn’t seem to extend battery life. If I’d had unlimited time I would have put it in airport mode and left it playing an mp3 continuously to see how long battery lasted. Maybe someone else can post results for that.

    – Paper owner’s manual is not very useful. It does note that if you click on Android’s rotation button, “Once the screen has been rotated from horizontally to vertically the touchpad will become malfunction. Use the external mouse instead it.” Pages 1-5 (of 26) are filled with this sort of thing: “Avoid dropping or mashing the product, or shaking the TFT screen violently”; “reminder is provided to call the CATV system installer’s
    attention to Article 820-40 of the NEC”.

    – When I tried to upload a small text file using the web browser, Android spent the next 10 minutes creating a matrix of thumbnails of every image and video it could find on my SD card, rather than offering a sane file chooser dialog (it never did offer anything but image files).

    – Sound quality from tiny speakers to either side of the display was very poor, disappointing since some cellphones had excellent speakerphone sound coming from a tiny hole 10 years ago.

    – I tried connecting my camera to see if the CLP281 might do PTP, but it was not acknowledged at all.

    – Although all documentation says WiFi is b/g, my router is set to n-only and this netbook quickly declares a 150Mbit connection. However, when you try to fetch a page with a browser or other utility, it fetches part of the page and then stalls, sometimes for more than a few minutes, before letting a few more bytes through: Fetching a podcast from a local server, the netbook had received only 100kBytes after 15 minutes (over a wired connection, entire 120 Mbyte podcast was received in 15s). Changing my router to b/g didn’t help the stalling problem.

    – Has no problem playing 1280×720 HD video, never a stutter! How’d they do that?

    – F1-12 keys are assignable in the settings menu for quick task switching.
    QWERTYUIOP keys are 0-90% jump for music player.

    – Manual says FLAC audio is supported, but music player refuses. When I was trying to play my collection of ogg video from Wikipedia, the system became confused, and began calling the video player for almost all files, and at that point I found that FLAC audio is handled well by the video player but all other formats which should be viewed with a browser or other app are also sent to the video player without giving user the opportunity to choose otherwise.

    This link shows what’s inside a similar unit:
    http://www.yourwarrantyisvoid.com/2011/01/08/hardware-pr0n-sylvania-netbook-from-cvs/

    A 10-inch version with same internals: http://www.steed.com.cn/ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=75

    Some screenshots are at http://z.web2web.f-m.fm, and technical text at
    http://z.web2web.f-m.fm/tek.html

  3. Dan B. June 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    I purchased a used on Ebay just to tinker around with it. Ended up paying $35 for it.

    So far, I haven’t had any problems connecting to my WPA encrypted Wi-Fi. It seems to play Youtube videos well and the built-in speakers are okay. I was able to access and transfer files from the USB using the file browser, copied files to and from the USB to the internal storage SD card.

    The netbook works great with Nestoid NES emulator however I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get ADosBox to work with this little system.

    I’m still searching for a native BASIC interpreter for Android to put on this thing, then I can do some really lite weight programming with it…that was my intention with ADosBox, I wanted to run QBasic on this thing.

    I wasn’t able to get Amazon App Store to work, however the SlideMe App Store works fine. I’m not sure if Amazon doesn’t work because I don’t live in the U.S. The store loads but it fails at downloading any apps…

    I wish they would have added an RS232 serial port on this thing, then I could use it as a portable terminal for data acquisition…ah well, the trusty old TRS-80 model 100 can still serve that purpose for a while longer…

    Overall, It’s a decent little computer for occasional web browsing and playing old 8-bit NES games, watching Youtube videos and tinkering around with. At least if you lose it or it gets stolen while travelling or staying at hotels, the loss of the computer would be negligeable… as compared to say a high end netbook or IPad.

    I wouldn’t recommend spending more than $50 on one of these little netbooks. Again, it’s not meant as a laptop or netbook replacement, it’s more of a disposable/cheap utility device for playing games, light web browsing, for the kids, etc…

    Cheers!

  4. eric royce croxton February 19, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I am a 58 yr male who knows nothing about computers, or anything compter related. So thought this would be a good learning tool for me. I was partially right. Sorry, don’t know any of those fancy tech words or phrases. But for starters I can say it’s serving it’s purpose as a learning tool until I figure out what I’m doing and save enough money to purchase a more expensive and useful model. Was able to hook up to wi-fi with no problem. Speed is ok for me. Able to use amazon app store to hook up with Pandora. Music is what I use it mostly. Other basic things work to my satisfaction. In the complaint department, watching videos is sometimes very annoying because of constant freezing. Especially while watching live concerts. Whenever I’m composing an e-mail the cursor seems to want to go where ever it wants to go sometimes. Also very annoying. But what I found most annoying is after less than 3 months out of nowhere it developed a short in the headphone jack. Just bam! Here it is. And I had recently purchased a nice pair of headphones to use. Also purchased wiring to connect to my sound system at home. So now I have to play with it a little bit to listen to music.(at home). In order to use headphones, I have to hold the HP wire to keep it from going in and out. But eventually it will stop working completely. I got it on sale for $78, so I guess you get what you pay for. Again as a learning tool, it’s fine. But after learning be ready to spend a little more money to buy something a little better.

  5. eric royce croxton February 19, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    If you are like me and know nothing about anything computer related, make sure you have someone who is patient and has time to answer any questions. Luckily I have 2 daughters who seem to know everything about this subject. One who was kind enough to walk me through the process of getting apps on my little toy and walking me through getting Pandora on it. Those 2 things to approximately 1 1/2 hrs. So make sure you have someone who is tech smart if you are computer stupid.

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