Can we curiosity you in a $10 pocket calculator powered by Android 9?

A Chinese language vendor is providing a pocket calculator that runs a full copy of Android 9 – full with Wi-Fi. It prices ¥69, about 10 bucks.

Wish to really feel previous? The calculator – not a scientific one, observe – is powered by a quad-core Arm chip and runs Android 9, simply to offer plain normal calculator performance. That is what is described in an article on embedded and IoT web site CNX Software program.

To be truthful, this is not the brand new value. Author Li Zexi discovered it on a secondhand stall and warns:

That is $23, or over £19, which is sort of the value of a tomato (if you will discover one).

The gadget is branded GHLBD, who do not appear to have a global presence; we are able to solely discover Bangladeshi courier and shipbuilding firms, and we suspect it is not them.

The specs of the gadget are literally pretty affordable. The chip is an A50 [PDF] SoC from low-cost and cheerful chipbuilders Allwinner. It is a 1.8GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 with a dual-core Mali-400 GPU, however the calculator makers solely bundled 8GB of RAM and 8GB of Flash, so there is a puny 3GB of non-volatile storage free. A calculator with three gigs of storage for under a tenner does not strike us as a horrible rip-off, however then once more, The Reg FOSS desk is fairly previous now.

In 2012 we reported that Allwinner was promoting its single-core A10 SoC for $7 in bulk. By 2015, CNX was reporting that they had been promoting a $5 quad-core gadget. Why run Android on it? Nicely, the core AOSP is free, so doing it this fashion is affordable: another person has performed the event for you.

The calculator has no launcher, so it is not that straightforward to load different software program, however the gadget comes with a calendar, a notepad, quantity controls and so forth. It has a touchscreen, so individuals have rooted it and side-loaded video games on it, in addition to Ps and Ps Transportable emulators.

Twenty years in the past, The Reg reported on Xbox hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang and his write-up of a $12 Gongkai telephone shocked lots of people. A cellphone that might be offered, presumably at a revenue, for under twelve bucks.

Nicely, now that type of cash buys a fairly useful Android gadget. Koomey’s Legislation is marching on. Standard computer systems could not get dramatically sooner than they’re any more, however they are going to get cheaper, smaller, and use much less and fewer energy. If we would like actual advances in efficiency, it has to return from smaller, easier software program, quite than simply spending low-cost gigahertz on operating gigabytes of free bloat… simply to implement a calculator. ®