India Unveils World’s Cheapest Laptop @$35
Keeping India’s economy in mind, where average middle class students can’t afford to buy a good configuration laptop that costs between $500 and $1000, India HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has unveiled a low cost affordable laptop for the student community.
It's the world’s cheapest fully functional laptop, with a price tag of just $35, making it much cheaper than the currently existing laptops in the market. It can easily be purchased by most of the students belonging to middle and low income family segments.
The fully functional prototype includes motherboard, processor, RAM, internet connection facility, memory, display and touch screen capability. The base model will also include PDF reader, internet browsers and video conferencing facilities, and the prototype model comes with modular expansion capabilities to allow students to easily upgrade it.. The HRD ministry is in the process of talking to laptop manufacturers about mass production for the Indian market.
The operating system for these laptops will be open source Linux that can be installed free of cost. With very optimistic plans by the HRD minister, the laptop will be commercially launched for higher education institutions in India by 2011.
The ministry is also proposing that the cost ultimately be reduced, first to $20, and then to just $10. The product has been researched under the sponsorship of HRD Ministry, with technical assistance from India’s two premier technology institutes – IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and IIS (Indian Institute of Science).
On one hand, it is a big boost to the student community, in my opinion. It is really a technical revolution to deliver a full-fledged working laptop at such a low cost.
But, on the other hand, the limitations of the laptop have not been disclosed so far. A vision of bringing down the cost of this model to just $10 seems to be overly optimistic. Let’s see which global player comes forward to deliver this model for mass production. Also unspecified is a control mechanism to keep the product from being misused by the commercial non-student community.
Overall, if this project succeeds, it is going to get a huge and warm welcome from the whole student community of India.