Monday, May 16, 2005

MIT planning to make $100 laptops to improve children's education

The MIT's Media Lab's plan to develop and distribute a laptop computer costing no more than $100, with the aim of providing a laptop for every child, supplied to any country that wants to offer them.
The Project Manager (Negroponte) envisions that the combination of laptops to all children, broadband connections for the towns and villages where those children live in, and a school syllabus for the use of digital materials, will improve not only the education each child receives but their future prospects as well.
About half the price of a current laptop is accounted for by marketing, sales, distribution channels, and profit, but the plan is to sell the laptops directly to the governments, resulting in a major costs cut. The other half of the laptop's cost is accounted for parts and manufacturing, roughly 2 thirds of this cost is the display panel and associated backlight, but Negroponte's vision of the machine will use a projection display system that costs about $30. The rest of the cost goes to the operating system, so they will run Linux.
The initial machine will have a 500MHz processor from AMD (one of the project's main backers), 256 MB of main memory, 1 GB flash memory instead of a hard drive and a wireless LAN connection. Read more

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