Xcalibyte Roma: First RISC-V notebook can be ordered at exorbitant prices

xcalibyte roma first risc v notebook can be ordered at exorbitant.jpg
xcalibyte roma first risc v notebook can be ordered at exorbitant.jpg

RISC-V architecture instead of ARM or x86: Anyone who wants to program with the Roma notebook while on the move has to dig deep into their pockets.


The Chinese company Xcalibyte wants to deliver the first 100 copies of the Roma notebook this year. Roma is the first model with a RISC-V processor, touted for on-the-go RISC-V development. In the first quarter of 2023, Xcalibyte wants to ramp up production – but with a planned 1000 units, it will remain at a low level.


The core is the Alibaba CPU T-Head TH1520 with four CPU cores of the type Xuantie C910, which achieve a clock frequency of 2.5 GHz. The performance should be on the level of older smartphones, but should be enough for common office programs. A tiny, onboard Neural Processing Unit (NPU) runs neural networks. Since the Alibaba CPU itself does not have a GPU, an unnamed graphics chip from Imagination Technologies takes over the image output. The CPU and GPU are accompanied by 16 GB of LPDDR4X-4266 RAM and a 256 GB SSD. Alibaba’s Linux operating system OpenAnolis is preinstalled on the SSD.

On the connection side, the Roma is spartan. There are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps, formerly called USB 3.0) in the form of Type-A ports, one Type-C port exclusively for charging the battery, one HDMI (probably 1.4), one Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 5. Xcalibyte only states that the display is 14.1 inches in size and displays 1920 × 1080 pixels (Full HD). The entire notebook weighs around 1.7 kg and measures 20 mm at the thickest point when closed.

Interested can pre-order the Roma through the Alibaba marketplace, but then have to make do with a QWERTY keyboard – thanks to the ISO layout, you can put a German layout on the keyboard. This year, the manufacturer is only sending out premium pre-orders for a whopping 5065 euros. The premium packages include bonuses such as RISC-V based peripherals and an extensive warranty including free CPU upgrades.

However, even the 1520 euros for the basic model are way overpriced for a notebook of this equipment and performance class.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.