Ben NanoNote Aims To Bring Open Source Tenets to Hardware

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 07, 2010

Is there a market out there for completely open source computers, where even the design of the hardware components is shared in community fashion? That's the question that Qi Hardware's Ben NanoNote laptop is trying to answer. According to Linux News, you can now order the systems for $99. Linux is on board, and all aspects of the hardware design are open and free for tinkerers to modify.

There are numerous photos of the Ben NanoNote found here in a gallery. As you can see below, the NanoNote is shorter than a can of soda, and palm-sized.

The gallery photos also show it running Debian Linux:

The NanoNote, of course, is hardly the first effort to explore the intersection of hardware and open source principles. For example, we've covered the open Arduino hardware initiatives numerous times.

As Linux News notes:

"The Ben is not designed to be a mass-marketed consumer electronics product; instead, the goal is to inspire the creative developer who sees the hardware and thinks, 'I could do something with that.'"

Like many things based on Linux, the NanoNote may strike a chord with some developers. At under $100, it's not an expensive platform to start exploring with.