Cherrypal: A lean, green, cloud-oriented machine

It doesn’t look exciting, really, but it’s worth considering that as people move their entire computer experience online, the local footprint of a personal computer gets smaller and smaller, until eventually it’s this. The Cherrypal is ridiculously underpowered: a 400MHz processor, 256mb of RAM, 4GB of space (used pretty much exclusively for the OS and Firefox), and the usual ports (VGA output though?!). It costs $250.

The idea is it’s entirely cloud-based computing. Cherrypal provides 50GB of space online, and what with Flickr, GMail and apps, and stuff like, most of the basic programs you’d use on your computer are replaceable. Its power consumption is a ridiculous two watts, and it’s missing, they say, 80% of the components of other computers (lower waste and consumption). I agree with Tom’s Hardware that this is a disruptive product, but I’m skeptical that it will really catch on — after all, there is still a lot of local stuff that needs dealing with: temporary photo storage, a media player, and so on. But it is the lightest computing solution possible at this stage, and I think that deserves a little recognition.