The $35 ‘laptop’ is finally here
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Finally realising his dream project, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday launched a $35 computing device that will be made available to 'learners' right from primary schools to universities. Aiming at bringing down the price to $10, the Ministry has also begun discussions with global manufacturers to start mass production of arguably the world's cheapest laptop.
"This is part of the national initiative to take forward inclusive education. The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India," said Sibal.
Looking as stylish as a large i-phone, this $35 "low-cost computing-cum-access device" is a 5/7/9 inch touchscreen gadget packed with internet browsers, PDF reader, video conferencing facilities, open office, sci-lab, media player, remote device management capability, multimedia input-output interface option, and multiple content viewer.
The Linux based device will also have provisions for running on solar power besides the usual battery- operated systems. The Indian Express had first reported that the ministry was set to launch the product.
While the device developed by the HRD Ministry's teams will come with a smaller memory and no hard disk, the ministry said it would be sufficient for a student's needs. The Rs 1,500/$35 computing device is expected to first hit higher education institutions — colleges and varsities starting 2011 — but the government could subsidise 50 per cent of this cost, bringing down the price.
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