Aral Balkan

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iOTA 360

A red iOTA 360 notebook resting on a wooden table

Do you give an iota about a £99 computer?

I’m writing this on a £99 computer.

Well, it was a £99 computer over at Amazon’s Prime Day sale this week. Today, it’s apparently a £171.32 computer.

While I hate contributing to Jeff Bezoz’s Fuck Off To Mars Fund, I wanted to see what a £99 notebook could do so I ordered one. If nothing else, I’d have a low-end device for testing sites on IE and Edge instead of firing up a VM.

The iOTA 360 in laptop orientation with the guide sticker on the monitor pointing out the various buttons and ports.

The iOTA 360 shows attention to detail and polish you wouldn't expect at this price point.

So what kind of notebook does £99 get you these days? One with a 1.96Ghz quad core Atom processor and 2GB of RAM which aren’t going to win any performance awards but haven’t stopped me from doing anything I’ve wanted to do so far, 32GB of eMMC storage that’s ample for web development, and Windows 10, which is what you get when you combine the elegance of old men who wear socks in sandals with the Chinese government’s respect for privacy and Martin Shkreli’s sense of ethics.

Close-up of the iOTA 360's keyboard

The keyboard does flex while typing but isn't uncomfortable.

It also has a passable 11.6” screen running at 1366 x 768 that is best viewed at 125% scale. (It’s even nicer at 150% but some system dialogs get cut off and cannot be scrolled, leaving certain buttons unreachable.)

The iOTA 360 quite happily runs my blogging setup, including node.js, Hugo, and Visual Studio Code.

Screenshot of my blogging setup with the code for this post open in Visual Studio Code on the left and a browser window showing the post itself on the right-side of the screen.

Web development is definitely possible with this machine.

Could this democratise computing? Could you use this thing for web design? Is it a surveillance device?

Yes to all.

I look forward to elaborating on those points in future posts.

My reflection in the screen as I take a photo of the iOTA 360 as it boots.

Join me next time when I turn the iOTA 360 on and step into the panopticon cum shopping mall that is Windows 10...