Laptop for 10 dollars?

by Salman on February 3, 2009

When i heard this news, i wasn’t interested much in it and thought of  it as a stupid joke but it is NO MORE a joke. The Indian government has announced to produce cheap laptops primarily for students which will cost around £7 (500 rupees or 10USD approx). The initial price would be twice that but the government hopes that it will drop down to the £7 mark once the mass production starts. Whatever they say, one cannot be convinced as to how they are going to produce such inexpensive laptops.

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The government has earmarked more than 46 billion rupees (939 million dollars) to develop the low-power gadget to work in rural areas with unreliable power supply and poor Internet connectivity.The planned laptop is part of a push to increase the number of students in higher education and give them the technological skills needed to further boost India’s economic growth.

It has already been announced that the laptop will have 2 GB of RAM as well as wireless and ethernet connectivity and it will only consume 2 Watts of power. The  most important question that you will be having in your mind right now is that what processor will be used in this laptop. That still remains a million dollar question because most commercial processors which are available in the market at present are twice or even more expansive than the cost announced for the laptop. I guess that processor will not be a commercial one rather it will be a small system comprising of an FPGA may be or a piece of silicon on which maximum functions will be integrated but still it can’t be as cheap as 10 dollars!!

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The laptop does not contain a hard drive, CD or a DVD drive. However, one can run Linux systems off of a compact flash card for cheap storage. Everyone around the globe is scratching its head as to How Can You Even Think of Producing a Laptop for just 10 USD when the 2 GB RAM alone costs 20 dollars. However The Times of India says that there might be hidden costs that will boost the price to 200 dollars. Lets wait and see..

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