News did the rounds earlier in the week about India’s supposed $10 dollar laptop. The laptop reportedly costs $20 to manufacture, but according to India’s Secretary for Higher Education, large-scale production runs would see the price in half by the time it hits consumers.
The news no doubt had Nicholas Negroponte and the lads over at the OLPC foundation quaking in their boots. The XO Laptop was already getting its ass kicked by the barrage of netbooks that hit the market shortly after its launch and Intel’s rival educational notebook, the Classmate PC was winning over governments and filling more classrooms than the OLPC’s laptop.
Fortunately for the OLPC and unfortunately for everyone else, it seems like there’s less to the $10/$20 laptop than we originally thought--considerably less. With "megabytes" of onboard memory and wi-fi capabilities we (rather optimistically, we’ll admit) pictured something that resembled the netbooks we’re seeing now but a little more primitive. What we saw, was not a laptop, nor was it $10, or even $20. And why it was being touted as a laptop still remains a mystery
Times of India reports that the Sakshat is a 10-inch by 5-inch plastic box which, despite an official unveiling at India's Sri Venkateswara University yesterday, still contains only mystery parts. It appeared more like a storage device than anything else. As for the $10 price, the expected price is closer to thirty bucks. Bummer. It feels like being promised a car and getting a single rollerskate.
While it is partially the fault of certain publications to get all hot and bothered over something that is completely improbable, it still is disappointing to the point where I really would prefer the rollerskate.
I'll take the rollerskate as well, could probably sell it to someone else who just got the one rollerskate deal.
I'd take the rollerskate also. You can cut in half and then nail it to a 2x4 board, and viola, you have a skate board.
That is just not true. Check your facts.
OLPC is in the hands of over 1 million children in 10 thousand OLPC pilot school all over third world countries. While the Classmate PC is nowhere to be found.
You should learn not to believe marketing speak and photo ops sessions. Intel only talks about Classmate, but does not deliver. And Intel netbooks are designed to be mostly sold to rich geek adults in rich countries as a secondary or third computer.
What the box is more likely to contain is a thin-client that is able to connect to central servers. This will enable it to give users access to the educational Sakshat portal, read e-books, connect to other users and participate in an e-classroom.
It wouldn't be the first indian educational experiment with thin clients as http://venturebeat.com/2008/10/13/ncomputing-scores-big-indian-deal-for-its-thin-client-school-computers/ shows. It also tells how it can be made as a $20 box, as the hardware demands is a lot smaller.
The best info on the box I have found is in the Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Rs_500-laptop_display_on_Feb_3/articleshow/4049914.cms if anyone has better links, please share.
Personally I think India was right in going with this over the OLPC.