A $35 laptop from India

This time it might not be a electronic brick. Government of India has introduced a $35 laptop to suit educational needs. The cost would go down to $20 and eventually to $10, though there were several promises for a low-cost computer and none of the promises were met. There was a lot of hullabaloo about an electronic device which was dubbed as  a$10 laptop and thought to be quite ingenious. That turned out to be an external hard drive or, in the words of the western media, an electronic brick.

Why would it be different this time?
To start with we might get second time lucky. But there is more to it. There are specifications and there are pictures. The device should be able to access Internet, play YouTube videos (educational content, not Lady Gaga, though the spec wouldn’t differ) and like all electrical devices in India – should run with minimal power.
As per pluggd.in, here are the specifications :

  1. Touch-screen
  2. In-built keyboard
  3. 2GB RAM
  4. Wi-Fi
  5. USB Port
  6. 2 watt to power it up

Here is the picture of the device from trak.in :

This device has an uncanny resemblance with India’s iPad beater, Adam.

It all started with a motherboard designed at VIT Vellore. The materials costs for the motherboard itself came to $47. Research is underway at several IIT’s to bring the cost down. Entrepreneurs should play their part in producing these laptops and keeping the costs low. (Source)

The government of India wants to achieve access, equity and quality of education with this low-cost device. The device is expected in 2011. I really hope this turns out good.