Novena Laptop shaping up to be open-source MacBook Pro Lite

Way back in December, you might remember that we discussed a new project from Andrew "Bunnie" Huang that would see the possibility of massed-produced open-source ARM-based laptops that would cost hundreds less than a typical OEM laptop. The project has seen great strides since its introduction, and Huang made some upgrades to the hardware involved in order to give the laptops better performance.

For the most part, the custom motherboard has gone through "a major revision," and has received a few upgrades that Huang believes "really refines its vision." Huang notes the upgrade in the FPGA, which is a chip array that's "field-programmable," which means that it can be configured by the owner of the machine even after it's already built.

Huang also notes that the laptop can support a Retina-quality 2560x1700 resolution with a 24-bit color depth, and they outfitted it with a 12.85-inch screen with that resolution for testing, and it looks pretty incredible based on his accounts. We can only imagine that it looks good as well, seeing as how we love the 13-inch MacBook Pro's Retina display.

The project still has a long way to go before its consumer-ready, and Huang notes that "it's now somewhere between a python-scriptable oscilloscope, logic analyzer, and a laptop" — not exactly what the final product will look like, but it's making tons of progress so far. Huang thinks "it will be an indispensable tool for hacking."

As for when the laptops will become available and the price that buyers should expect it to sell for, Huang didn't mention specifics, but said that he doesn't plan on selling these laptops to just anyone. He actually plans on making the order form a python or javascript program that buyers have to modify and submit to Github in order to qualify for one of these laptops, so if you know your code, you should be set.

SOURCE: Bunnie Studios