Friday, July 23, 2010

Ten Dollar Laptops Imminent?

I couldn't resist commenting on a "factoid" sort of report out of Reuters. It would appear that laptop computers are going to go the way of calculators.

When I was pre-med in the 1970s, calculators were banned from tests as they cost hundreds of dollars and thus few students could afford them. Here is the skinny on laptops:

India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal this week unveiled the low-cost computing device that is designed for students, saying his department had started talks with global manufacturers to start mass production.

"We have reached a (developmental) stage that today, the motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything," he told a news conference.

He said the touchscreen gadget was packed with Internet browsers, PDF reader and video conferencing facilities but its hardware was created with sufficient flexibility to incorporate new components according to user requirement.

Sibal said the Linux based computing device was expected to be introduced to higher education institutions from 2011 but the aim was to drop the price further to $20 and ultimately to $10.

As they say on the streets of Manhattan:

Ten dollar, ten dollar!?

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