Attack of the Clones: Malata’s netbook assault

Malata-R108T-4Normally, clones and knockoffs are associated with high-end goods, like Prada and Gucci. There’s just not enough money in the low-end stuff to be worthwhile to copy, like counterfeiting $1 bills. That being the case, I guess netbooks aren’t all that cheap since Chinese company Malata has been introducing even cheaper clones this month.

Word trickled out from Liliputing earlier this month when they spotted Malata clones of Sony Vaio and ASUS Eee netbooks. But it’s their R108T touchscreen convertible that’s got real legs with its introduction making its way through Engadget and Slashgear after being outed by pirate-watcher Shanzai. Per the experts:

The Malata R108T uses a new mold, looks to have very nice workmanship, and comes in a range of colors including Ferrari Red, Piano Black, Coffee, Gold and Champagne.

Malata-R108T-5New mold means it’s not an exact copy, though that could be for engineering purposes, not legal ones. Supposedly it will be cheaper than its ASUS Eee counterpart, but that’s sort of the point of clones. Looks like they shaved some of the cost by excluding vertical orientation.

No word on whether it will make it to the States or remain a Chinese exclusive. The version of Windows 7 it runs is not specified, but from this shot of the wallpaper, it’s clearly not the Starter edition. Hanwang handwriting software is included for Chinese character recognition.