Sunday, February 1, 2009

Little Wonder: A Rs 500 Laptop

Tata Motors may have no definite timetable for the launch of the Nano, the world's cheapest car at around Rs 100,000 ($2,000), but a Rs 500 laptop could soon be a reality in India. The Indian Government is all set to display the Rs 500 laptop on 3 February 2009 in Tirupati, at the launch of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology.

To take knowledge to every household and help students get feed on every subject while sitting home, the government is set to make available low-cost computers at $10. Students can get the e-content feed and load them in their computers and take advantage of the materials. The government will provide these computers to educational institutions at a subsidised price. The Government's ultimate target is to have a Virtual Technological University.

The Rs 500 laptop has been developed by students of Vellore Institute of Technology, scientists at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, IIT Madras and Semiconductor Complex, a public sector undertaking. It would be equipped with 2 GB of memory, WiFi, fixed Ethernet, expandable memory, and consume just 2 watts of power, say media reports.

At this stage, the price of the laptop is working out to be $20 but with mass production it is bound to come down, reports The Economic Times.

In November 2005, at the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Massachussets Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Nicholas Negroponte, unveiled a $100 laptop computer, The Children's Machine, designed for students in the developing world. The project is part of a broader programme by One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit organisation started by Negroponte and other Media Lab faculty, to extend Internet access in developing countries.

Many companies were working hard to break the sub-$100 notebook price point since its launch. But, ultimately India is ready to showcase a notebook that costs only $10, which is so far the cheapest computing device in India.


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