The cheapest laptop in the world is powered by a 28-year-old operating system


At $99.99 (roughly £85/AU$155), the Pinebook from Pine64 is by far the cheapest brand new laptop on the market. Despite leaving plenty to be desired from a hardware perspective, it has amassed a loyal following worldwide.

Other than a small screen update, the device is pretty much unchanged since it was launched (and reviewed) in 2017.

At the time, our reviewer said: “If you’re after an affordable Linux laptop, look no further. Yes, you’ll need to get used to the keyboard, and the touchpad is oversensitive – but for Linux students, coding beginners and even children, the Pinebook is an excellent option that you should not overlook.”

Yes, this is a Linux laptop (Ubuntu to be more precise) with a MATE desktop environment, but not a particularly powerful one.

It features 2GB of LPDDR3, 16GB eMMC (albeit v5.0) and a quad-core AllWinner system-on-chip - a set of components that would barely make it into an entry-level 4G smartphone.

The highlights of the device have to be the full HD 11.6-inch IPS display and attractive MacBook Air aesthetic (circa 2015). Beyond that, the Pinebook includes a microSD slot, HDMI port and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as a full size keyboard with large touchpad, 10,000mAh battery, Bluetooth, WiFi and a VGA camera.

We’re a little concerned by the 30-day warranty and the fact the customer has to cover the freight charges. Although this additional cost will, of course, be offset by the miniscule price tag.

Note, while Pine64 ships to most territories worldwide, international customers may be levied additional charges and fees by customs.