Tuesday, February 3rd 2009

India Develops 10 Dollar Laptop for Students

In an attempt to empower millions of students across the country, Indian Government agencies have formulated plans to release a laptop at prices that equal that of a trip to a pizzeria in the west. Under a Government-sponsored scheme that runs parallel to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) global initiative, the administration sought to implement this scheme to make the computer up to 10 times more affordable than an OLPC. The Government believes that the hidden costs involved in deploying laptops under the OLPC scheme make it still inaccessible to the larger student population, and that much better hardware could be provided at its cost.

The first thing that comes to your mind would probably be the kind of hardware that would make such a cheap laptop. Earliest data trickling in about the specifications indicates each laptop to have about 2 GB of memory, and support wireless networking. We will attempt to find out more about the hardware in the days to come. The Indian Government has reportedly spent close to US $1.5 billion on developing this concept and researching solutions to make this notebook durable and worthy of deployment to the most remote rural areas, that suffer power-outages and voltage fluctuations. Higher Education Secretary R.P. Agrawal said last week that it would be available within six months. The public education scheme governing the deployment of these laptops was flagged off today, in the southern-Indian city of Tirupati. The laptop will be available to students on a priority basis, and will later reach mass-retail channels in the country.Source: Straits Times, The Times of India
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33 Comments on India Develops 10 Dollar Laptop for Students

#1
Weer
This must be heavily subsidized. Otherwise, it's completely insane. The only way in which you could get 2GB of anything for 10$ would be HDD space.
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Anyone can buy it for the same $10, even in retail channels (after they've finished distributing it amongst schools all over the country).
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#3
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
Since I am a student, I demand one! I am guessing shipping cost more than the laptop. Damn.
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#4
thoughtdisorder
Well good for India! Laptops are a necessity in todays college settings, so why not get kids used to laptop use early on. Very wise move India! :)
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#5
Haytch
Theres a billion of em!
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#6
W1zzard
if this were implemented with an arm cpu, a greyscale lcd screen and like 512 mb of flash storage running some variant of linux i could imagine it doable in the $10 range with huge volume.

but no way you can get wireless or 2 gb of anything for that price
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#7
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
Kinda reminds me of the OLPC. "O ya we are gonna have like laptops for every child and they will only be $100. It's gonna be sweet!" 2 months later, "So ya, we kinda went over budget, and each laptop is now $250, our bad."

Sound like anything like that will happen here? Maybe!
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#8
Kei
That's pretty amazing! Go India go students! :)

Kei
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#9
Viscarious
I spent $1200 on my lappy for school. I kinda went overboard to be honest.
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#10
to6ko91
by: thoughtdisorder
Well good for India! Laptops are a necessity in todays college settings, so why not get kids used to laptop use early on. Very wise move India! :)
lets start making lapys for primary schools and kinder garden children or even why not for new born babys :p:cool:
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#11
to6ko91
by: Haytch
Theres a billion of em!
good point
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#12
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Another source to cite that "2GB RAM" bit has been added. The source, originally a news daily, is India's "Washington Post".
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#13
WhiteLotus
This is going to take some doing. Unless, as said, it has to be subsidized heavily by the government and technology firms.
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#14
suraswami
Good news.

Along with this I would like to see India spend on hosting large digital text book section, so people who can't afford but have this laptop can download and get benefit out of it. I know government sponsors text books etc, but still there are certain books that you must absolutely buy in order to take up the exams properly, like 'Konar Notes' (not exactly the same but something similar).
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#15
WhiteLotus
India is massively technologically minded. IIRC they have the other control room for the Internet. Or at least something that is vastly expensive and only a few people have access to this special room. It even has a palm recognition lock on it so you can't get in, i saw it on tv once... it must be true.

Anyway, I think they might be a hook up the laptop up to a main Host when in schools. Think about it, if the laptop is connected to a host computer, that host can hold all the files etc. The laptops would not need to have a mass of Hard drive memory. A small lightweight variant of Linux and notepad... i could see this happening.
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#16
thoughtdisorder
^@WhiteLotus - That's pretty much what they're talking about is hooking up to a 'Sakshat' portal where textbooks will be stored for access in the classrooms. Also, I noted as I read that the connection speed will be about 10Kbps. So these lappy's won't be anything extraordinary by any means. Still, seems like an excellent step in a positive direction.
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#17
pr0n Inspector
by: WhiteLotus
India is massively technologically minded. IIRC they have the other control room for the Internet. Or at least something that is vastly expensive and only a few people have access to this special room. It even has a palm recognition lock on it so you can't get in, i saw it on tv once... it must be true.

Anyway, I think they might be a hook up the laptop up to a main Host when in schools. Think about it, if the laptop is connected to a host computer, that host can hold all the files etc. The laptops would not need to have a mass of Hard drive memory. A small lightweight variant of Linux and notepad... i could see this happening.
you've watched too much science fiction.

India has gone crazy.* Laptop for kids? there are more than pressing issues than this bs.


*along with those OLPC people.
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#18
thoughtdisorder
by: pr0n Inspector
you've watched too much science fiction.

India has gone crazy.* Laptop for kids? there are more than pressing issues than this bs.


*along with those OLPC people.
"One can only hope that through a better education the pressing issues of today will be solved and righted." -Ezekiel 25:17
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#19
WhiteLotus
by: pr0n Inspector
you've watched too much science fiction.

India has gone crazy.* Laptop for kids? there are more than pressing issues than this bs.


*along with those OLPC people.
About which part? Hooking a computer that a very small hard drive space to save money to a host computer that stores all the files.

Or the other bit?

And what other pressing issue... like education in IT. A thing that nearly every one in the world now needs to get a job?
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#20
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: pr0n Inspector
India has gone crazy.* Laptop for kids? there are more than pressing issues than this bs.
Education is the "pressing issue" in China and India. You either share your fish with a hungry man, or you teach him how to fish. Option 2 sounds cheaper. Yes laptops for kids, just like "books for kids" in the late dark ages.
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#21
zCexVe
Its doable if th government and some companies sponsor the laptop.Transport,plastics,Metallic parts etc.The hardware will come with a price tag.
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#22
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
No off-topic / borderline pervert discussions here please.
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#23
thoughtdisorder
What I don't get is how the Indian government was suspicious of a $100 laptop, but somehow buys into a $10 laptop? Something is askew......:confused:
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#24
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: thoughtdisorder
What I don't get is how the Indian government was suspicious of a $100 laptop, but somehow buys into a $10 laptop? Something is askew......:confused:
That's because the $100 OLPC is an imported item. The logistics, the government's treatment of it as yet another commodity, and taxes, step up costs. How they worked out that $10 equation beats me at this point, but I promise when it does come out, and we know what kind of hardware really goes into making it, there will be some clarity. I'll be the first one to check it out, maybe dissect it, and find out more about how the government is running this scheme.
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#25
newconroer
by: PVTCaboose1337
Kinda reminds me of the OLPC. "O ya we are gonna have like laptops for every child and they will only be $100. It's gonna be sweet!" 2 months later, "So ya, we kinda went over budget, and each laptop is now $250, our bad."

Sound like anything like that will happen here? Maybe!
Sounds like any lame plan where a government tries to step into areas that they don't belong.

Besides, why do students NEED laptops, in India.......?
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