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Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281x 1.3 GHz ROOTED! (see below)

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Posts: 1,678


Feb 4 10 12:55 AM

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In another thread someone mentioned the smart phone game SurvivalCraft and that got me thinking about a possible gift for one of my kids.

I was shopping this weekend and I saw a new Craig 7" Android 4.0 netbook with 1.3 GHz processor, 1 GB internal memory, and 4 GB memory for apps. It was $99 at the local pharmacy.

That netbook is faster than my Android smart phone. The specs look pretty decent for something under $100.

Can it run games like SurvicalCraft, Minecraft, Angry Birds, etc.? I looked on some other sites and can't find much information on it. I don't see why it wouldn't, but some Android apps are picky about what they can run on. I'm thinking of getting this as a Christmas gift for one of my kids.

Anyone own one of these?

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#1 [url]

Feb 4 10 1:08 PM

mmmh i think it is no problem to run those games technically. but i don´t know it is possible / much fun to play them with a keyboard and a touchpad instead of a touchscreen like on "real" tablets or smartphones...

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#2 [url]

Feb 4 10 10:49 PM

The specs look good on that netbook. A 1.3 GHz CPU and 1 gig of system memory is dam good for that price. If angry birds will work it should fly on that machine. My phone is only 1 GHz and it runs angry birds well enough.

You need to know that angry birds has problems running on some devices even if the specs are good enough. It's hard to know which ones it will work on. You just have to try it and see.

I recently upgrade angry birds on my phone and now it no longer works. 

I have played angry birds using a mouse on a PC before. It's not bad using a mouse. I think survicalcraft and minecraft are not going to play well using a mouse on Android. But I never tried it. If those games let you use the keyboard for movement then they should be awesome to play using a keyboard.

I think its better if you can get something like that netbook that has a touch screen AND a keyboard. That way you get the best of both worlds.

I use my cell phone a lot more than my computer. I love touch screens. But when you have to type a lot then a cell phone sucks. Having a real keyboard is a big plus.

I would consider that netbook for myself since I already have a computer and an android phone. It would be cool to take on vacation along with my phone for those times when I need to type a lot. I don't like laptops. They are too heavy. Too big to really be portable. But that netbook looks perfect.

For someone that doesn't have an android phone, especially a kid, they might be disappointed that you can't touch the screen. Not having a touch screen will be a problem for some games. Kids love games. So I don't recommend that for a kid UNLESS they already have a touch screen phone or tablet.

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#3 [url]

Feb 5 10 7:58 PM

Well at work we make Android apps all the time. I sometimes have to do customer support for apps that SHOULD WORK but don't work on certain Android devices. Not all Android devices support all Android apps. This is a well known fact. Even if the app is designed for Android 4.0, there will still almost always be a few 4.0 devices out there that won't run it. Most manufacturers make custom tweaks to their Android devices which can cause these slight compatibility issues with certain apps.

My daughter already has a tablet PC with a touch screen. She wants a regular PC with a keyboard, but she tends to break things pretty fast. So I thought this might be a good idea. If she breaks it that's not much of a problem because its so cheep compared to a regular PC.
But the store no longer sales this product. It was on sale, and it was apparently a closeout sale, even though it didn't say it was.
I'm a little bummed out now. I'll have to look for something else now.

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#4 [url]

Feb 19 10 6:41 PM

I ended up finding the Craig Netbook with Android 4.0 new for $98 at another store just shortly before Christmas and bought it for one of my daughters. I also bought their tablet for another one of my daughters who already has a Windows based netbook.

For those interested, the Craig Netbook model is CLP281x. The build quality is much better than I had expected for under $100.

The netbook has decent battery life, around 4-6 hours.

The keyboard is tiny, but you get used to it. I have used the netbook to post several times on this forum (including this post). Attempting to post on a forum using a tablet and a touch screen keyboard is a real pain. Having a built in keyboard is a must for typing long posts.

The built in mouse pad is good. I had no trouble using it. The buttons work well.

The screen is not the best but its not bad either. Its just like your typical non-touch screen LCD display found on most netbooks these days.

The GPU and CPU are pretty fast on this netbook. This was the most pleasing thing about the purchase. I expected it to drag a little but its very smooth. It's actually faster than my Samsung cell phone. The downside is that the screen is only 16-bit, not 24-bit. For most things this is not noticeable though.

Games play great on it. Angry birds works wonderfully. Minecraft also works. SurvivalCraft works. The last two are a little tricky to play with a mouse pad however.

Everything I tried to install ran very well. A few games ran but couldn't be played at all because they just wouldn't work well enough with a mouse pad. Some games than ran in portrait mode were also difficult to play because the netbook is really designed for landscape mode. It's very hard to use the mouse pad in portrait mode. If you wanted to do that an external mouse is really needed.

The sound quality from the stereo speakers are what you would expect from a low cost netbook: not very loud, not much bass.

The major downside is that it didn't come with Google Play and without rooting the netbook you can't install Google Play. This a problem nearly all low cost Android netbooks and tablets have. Google requires netbooks and tablets to be approved before allowing them to ship with Google Play installed.

The latest Amazon Appstore did not work with a mouse pad at all. It was useless on the netbook. I ended up getting an older version of the Amazon Appstore installed on it. That works great.

I plan to eventually root this netbook and install Google Play, but I have yet to find details on how to root it. I will into this more. I have rooted several tablets and phones in the past. Its pretty easy to do in most cases, but with this Craig Netbook no one has done it yet. I will be trying several things to see if I can root it.

I ran AnTuTu Benchmark v2.4.2 from the Amazon Appstore on the Craig Netbook CLP281x and my Samsung Infuse 4G phone. My Samsung phone scores 3081. The Craig Netbook scored 3095. SD card access, memory access and floating point calculations on the netbook was much faster than my phone.

All in all I am extremely pleased with the purchase. My daughter has been using it every day and loving it. I use it sometimes to post on forums and do research. Its great for that. Its so light and easy to hold. The keyboard is small so you need to get used to it, but its not that small. I can type with both hands and all my fingers as I do on a normal full size keyboard.

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#5 [url]

Mar 4 10 11:21 PM

For anyone who's interested I did manage to figure out how to root the Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281x (this is pretty much the same as the CLP281a) and install Google Play.

To root the Craig Netbook I downloaded the latest firmware from Graig's website. The firmware is for both the CLP281a and CLP281x. Rooting them is the same and it is actually very simple. All you do is get the official firmware update from Craig, create a new folder and copy a few files to 2 different folders. Put the contents and your SD card, reboot, that's it! VERY SIMPLE.


Download the latest firmware from Graig. You can either visit their product page here to download it or you can download it directly from here: clp281a_x_firmware4.0.rar. It's a rar formatted zipped file. You'll need something to unzip it that supports this format. I use 7-Zip for Windows to unzip it. You can find that here:

You unzip it to a new folder on your Windows PC.

The Google Play files you need are found on this website:

The ones you need are version 9.0x. Here's the direct link:

Unzip the Google App (gapps) files. Locate this folder in the Google App (gapps) files you just unzipped:


Copy these files:


To this folder in your firmware you unzipped in step 1:


That takes care of adding Google Play. But that doesn't root the Craig Netbook CLP281x/CYP281a. It just puts Google Play on it.

Now you need to enable root access. This is often called "rooting". This gives you much more control over your Craig NetBook allowing you to use powerful software requiring root access such as Titanium Backup.

To root your Craig Netbook CLP281x/CYP281a, you need to get a copy of Superuser.apk and su.

Get these two files Superuser.apk and su from this website:

You can can directly download them here:

Unzip the file and copy this file:


To this folder in your firmware you unzipped in step 1:


Next, in your firmware you unzipped in step 1, create a folder called:


Copy this file to that folder:


Copy your firmware files to an SD card in the root folder of the SD card.


Make sure the file wmt_scriptcmd is in the root folder of the SD card. Make sure the folder FirmwareInstall is also in the root folder of your SD card.


Now you are ready to flash the new rooted firmware to your netbook.


Back up any personal data you need to an external SD card before proceeding! Everything will be wiped except the contents on your external SD card.

Make sure your netbook is at least 75% charged and connected to an AC outlet before continuing.

Completely power off your Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281x (or Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281a). Do this by holding the power button for about 5 seconds, until a menu pops up having the option "Power Down". Select that option.

Wait for the screen to turn off and all power lights to shut off.

Now put the SD card with your new firmware into your netbook. Hold the power button until it comes on.

The screen will go crazy for a few seconds. This is normal. This always happens even when using the manufacturer's firmware.

It will then start installing the new firmware. This will take several minutes. Do not power it down or unplug it until it is done.

Once it's done, it will ask you to remove the SD card. As soon as you do it will reboot.

Now you are done! Your Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281x (or Craig Netbook 4.0 CLP281a) is now fully rooted with Google Play (Google Market) installed. Have fun!

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#6 [url]

Mar 4 10 11:43 PM

I forgot to mention there is one tweak to 1 file you might like to make before flashing the firmware.

In this folder in the craig firmware:


There is a file called:


This file contains the lines:


Go to the last line:


Change that line to: 


Save the file. This allows you to get access to more options in your Android Settings screen, allowing you to easily turn on or off several useful options such as USB Debugging which some Root software needs turned on (Titanium Backup for example).

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#7 [url]

Mar 5 10 3:44 AM

What does it mean to "root" a phone, netbook or tablet?

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#8 [url]

Mar 5 10 9:48 AM

What does it mean to "root" a phone, netbook or tablet?


Most phones come without root access. They come preshipped with a lot of bloat wear you don't need, and probably don't want. Every phone I saw comes with apps like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Even if you never use these, you can't uninstall them because they are part of the system. They slow down your phone even when you don't use them because they run in the background.

Some Android phones come without the Google Play market program. Users of these phones are very limited in which apps they can install. They usually use GetJar, SlideMe, Amazon AppStore, etc., to get apps from. All of the other markets combined do not have anywhere near the number of apps found on the Google Play market. If you have an Android phone you want to have the Google Play market on your phone.

Installing the Google Play market is impossible on some phones unless they are "rooted".

A "rooted" phone lets you have full control over everything the phone has installed on it. You can even uninstall system apps like Facebook if you want to speed up your phone and make the battery last longer.

When your phone is "rooted", you are able to access areas of the phone that are normally restricted. All the system apps are in a restricted place on the phone. Unless your phone is "rooted" you can't add new system apps and you can't uninstall ones you don't like.

One of the fun things you can do if your phone is rooted is to install custom ROMs giving your phone more functionality. CyanogenMod is a very popular custom ROM available for a lot of phones. Unless your phone is "rooted" you won't be able to install any custom ROMs.

I don't know why phone manufacturers don't just ship their phones pre-rooted as an option. I can't see any reason for wanting a phone that doesn't have root access. I fact, I always check to see if a phone can be rooted before buying one. I would never ever buy a phone that can't be rooted.

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#9 [url]

Apr 6 11 12:35 AM

Worked like a charm for me as well


Wherever you are, thank you for the easy-to-follow instructions on rooting a CLP281x Netbook.  I know it's been almost 4 years since you posted this.  All of the leftover Netbooks that were at the pharmacies are now on eBay, refurbished, etc and are quite a bargain. I couldn't have done this without your help. 

I had a little trouble out of my own carelessness because instead of downloading, I downloaded The files all look right until you try to execute su and it won't run if it's compiled for a different architecture! ;) 

One thing that I did a little differently though was to use, which is for Ice Cream Sandwich. The firmware I had from Craig Electronics was for version 4.0.3. Your link was for, which is for Jelly Bean. I noticed the difference on the chart on the main page at  But I'm wondering if you actually got Jelly Bean working on the CLP281x because you had mentioned something about it in another post.

I learned a lot about rooting with your instructions and couldn't have figured it out by just reading a bit on or the other rooting sites. The information on those sites is not specific enough.

Now that I got the Netbook set up, my wife is taking it on a trip overseas to visit some family. She wanted to bring a lightweight, inexpensive computer that was easy to travel with and was backed up in the cloud in case it gets lost or stolen.  She really likes it.  Apparently girls think Netbooks are "cute".  ;)

So, 69ron, if you get any notification of this post, thank you again.


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#10 [url]

May 5 11 12:38 AM

rooting a newer version of craig clp285

Hello, thank you for the information. 
I have two questions. 
1. Can you use these instructions for rooting on the newer version of the craig netbook? clp285 . It has jelly bean 4.1 on it. The problem with it is it only supports the amazon app store and not google play!
2. can you only root with a micro sd card, or can i use a usb flash drive and get the same results? 

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#11 [url]

Feb 26 12 11:44 PM

Yes you can use these steps to root and install playu store on the icraig 285. I just did it. Just need to update the links he says to use.

Use this link for the icraig firmware:

Use the same Play Store links he provides.

The link for SuperUser is down so just google "" the first link on google will download it for you.

The file paths he give for the firmware are:


However on the icraig285 the file path is:


You DO need to use a SD card, not micro or USB but actual full size SD. My guess is you could use a micro SD card with a full sized adaptor.


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#12 [url]

Jun 21 12 4:57 PM

unblocking/forgotten passcode

What about unblocking this device? I searched online and absolutely nobody I have read has any idea even close to solving this problem. Each time I read into the instructions it was more generic and directed at cell phones more than anything. Please help!

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