$100 laptop comes to Europe

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation is planning to start selling the ‘$100 laptop’ via online store Amazon’s European outlets as from November 17th.

The machines will be sold under the Give One, Get One scheme that the OLPC organisation has already run in the US, whereby buyers get one machine for themselves and the other is donated to a school child in a developing nation.

The ‘$100 laptop’ will be available in the 27 EU nations as well as Switzerland, Russia and Turkey. The price, naturally, is expected to be……..£268 or €313!!

The original idea, of course, was to create a small, powerful laptop for school children that would sell in the millions yet cost less than $100. The final version of the machine, however, ended up costing about $188 and the OLPC group has only sold about 600,000 of the machines.

The machine does have a number of interesting features, especially for use in remote areas. No moving parts, no cooling fan, no hard drive (uses flash memory cards) and a robust, and waterproof, casing. There are also various contraptions designed to plug directly into the laptop including a solar panel, a hand crank (similar to those used on wind-up radios), a foot pedal and a pull-string recharger, similar to a starter cord on a lawnmower.

It has, however, faced stiff competition from Intel in the form of their ‘Classmate’ laptop.

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