Laptop for 10 Dollars
A year after Tata unveiled the $2000 car, we now have the $10 laptop. This laptop, christened Sakshat (literally, in front of your eyes) is undergoing development by various organizations including technology biggies Indian Institute of Science (IISC) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras.
The ‘world’s cheapest laptop’, developed in India, was unveiled by Union Minister for Human Resources Development Arjun Singh at the Tirupati temple on Tuesday evening. The laptop, jointly developed by several organisations, such as the University Grants Commission, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, will be priced at around $10 to $20 (about Rs 500 to Rs 1,000), officials said.[link]
The Cambridge foundation that vowed to deliver a $100 laptop is about to get some competition. The Indian government will today unveil a prototype laptop that officials say can be produced for as little as $20.[link]
To put this in perspective, a decent laptop can be had for about $500 in the US. For a high end laptop, the price can go above a thousand dollars. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has been working on a $100 laptop intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, but have managed to get to about $200 per laptop.
To everybody around the world, including me, the $10 seems too good to be true. What kind of laptop do you build for the cost of a movie ticket? Actually even less than a movie ticket, which costs about $12 a pop here in Newyork.
From the rediff report:
The laptop has 2 GB onboard memory with wireless Internet connectivity. To make it useful for the students, especially in the rural areas, the scientists have made it low power consuming gadget.
The price seems ridiculously low. My guess is there’s no hard disk, just physical memory. Some more guesses – There’s no CD drive. There’s no USB. The display must be very low resolution.
What this laptop definitely does not have: A quad core Intel proessor, A blu ray disc drive. A high power Nvidia GeForce video card. A 15 inch super glossy display. Bluetooth. Windows (that would be many times the projected price of the laptop)
So we probably have a low power processor running on Linux in a memory only architecture, with a cheap display and no addons such as disk drives or USB/Firewire connections. Doesnt sound like a fun machine, but might be a good start to take computing to all corners of the country. Lets just hope this machine actually works!
Way to go, India.
What’s next? A $20 personal robot to protect hapless women from crazy fanatics?
UPDATE: It sure is a lap top – a device that is small enough to sit on your lap. But not quite a notebook computer[link]