Here's the world’s cheapest laptop but it comes with a fatal flaw

Thomson X5 Neo 10
Image credit: Amazon

At $120, the Thomson X5 Neo 10 is the cheapest laptop in the world (at least till Black Friday 2019), but there is a reason why. It uses the bare minimum in terms of hardware to meet the requirements of Windows 10.

Available in black or white, the laptop is powered by a three-year-old Intel Atom processor, the x5-Z8350, paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, with less than half of it free because of the size of the operating system (OS).

The mobile version of Microsoft Office suite is bundled for free as well.

In a clear nudge to its Netbook forefathers, Thomson engineers decided to use a 10.1-inch display, complete with inch-thick bezels and a 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution. It is the only Windows laptop on the market to offer such a low (and obsolete) resolution.

You do get Windows 10 Home, which by itself costs about as much as the laptop, up to 7-hour battery life, a card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3-megapixel webcam, an audio socket and a micro-HDMI connector.

At less than 1kg, it is eminently portable but we don’t know if that will help, given that its performance will be abysmal. Perhaps the only bright spot is the two year warranty; you should be able to improve its capacity by adding a 128GB microSD card ($13.49 at Newegg ) to quintuple the available storage capacity. Just remember to use a reputable brand.

Want something a bit more powerful? Try the Asus E203MA ($175 at Newegg) instead. It has a bigger screen, a higher resolution, a more powerful CPU and twice the onboard memory. The internal storage is still only 32GB though.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.