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Saturday, January 31, 2009

India's $10 Laptop Comes on February 3

Designed to bring education to the masses

Back in mid-2008, the media was ablaze at the news that somewhere in India people were developing a portable computer system designed for educational purposes, which would carry out a price tag of only $10. The project was immediately put under scrutiny, especially given the astonishing low price of said laptop. However, the information was later corrected with the price point being raised to a more resonable $100.
On that note, news reports from India appear to confirm that the aforementioned system is going to debut sometime next month, with the price tag being set at just Rs500.

Currently there are few details on the respective lappy, but according to the online edition of “The Times of India” the Rs500 laptop will be on display in Tirupati on February 3, in time for the launch of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. The system, which is said to be a response to the $100 laptop promoted by MIT's Nicholas Negroponte, is expected to come with 2GB of RAM memory. Unfortunately, there are few technical details to go on for the time being, though we should know more by the end of next week.

“A lot of testing is being done to ensure the technology works properly. The computer can be an ideal gift for children,” said higher education secretary RP Aggarwal. “At this stage, the price is working out to be $20 but with mass production it is bound to come down.”

Given the skepticism around the project, the effort is applaudable. A low-cost computer system that could be used for educational purposes could potentially change the computer system market, consequently allowing pupils in the lower-developed countries to benefit from the advancements in the computer technology field. The system could have a competitor in the form of the upcoming XO 2 laptop, designed by the One Laptop Per Child project.

India's $10 Laptop Comes on February 3

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