Jointech

A laptop for $10!

Posted on February 4, 2009. Filed under: $10 laptop, $100 laptop, 500 rupee laptop, bureaucracy, computers, computing, digital divide, e-books, education, government, Government of India, India, Indian media, internet, internet device, J-PRO JL7100 Mini Laptop, Jointech, joke of the year, journalism, life, low cost computer, mainstream media, media, mini laptop, Ministry of Education, netbook, nettop, news, notebook PC, OLPC, OLPC XO, one laptop per child, personal computers, photo of Rs. 500 laptop, picture of $10 laptop, random, Rs. 500 laptop, Sakshat, Sakshat image, Sakshat laptop, South Asia, student laptop, Tata Nano, technology, technology news, textbooks, thoughts, Tirupathi, ultra low cost laptop, Venkateswara University, world, world's cheapest laptop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

When the Government of India’s Ministry of Education announced that it was planning to unveil an ultra low cost laptop for 500 INR (10 USD/8 EUR), the announcement was met with widespread skepticism. This ultra low cost laptop, developed in association with some university departments, was meant to be used by students and was supposed to be a rugged, energy efficient laptop that performed basic computing functions.

The worthless Indian media has been projecting it as India’s answer to the OLPC XO, the student laptop that was expected to cost $100, but ended up costing double that amount. The cheapest laptop at the moment is Jointech’s J-PRO JL7100 Mini Laptop that costs $99. So how could a device be developed for one-tenth of that price?

The “laptop” was unveiled today at Venkateswara University in Tirupathi, in the presence of ministers and government officials. Did it live up to the promise of being the world’s cheapest laptop? Here is a picture of the “laptop”:

The $10 “laptop”, Sakshat
sakshat

As it turns out, it is neither a laptop nor does it cost 10 USD! The device is rumoured to cost around 1000 INR (20 USD/16 EUR) at the moment, but a lot of “finetuning” and mass production should see the price drop to $10.

Details are sketchy, but the device is supposed to measure 10″ x 5″ and reportedly has 2 GB of memory, Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, USB port and consume very little power. It can be connected to another computer or a printer. As can be seen in the picture, the device seems to have a tiny display.

What’s clear though, is that the $10 laptop is not a “laptop” by any stretch of the imagination! It seems to be a storage device with a tiny integrated display and some connectivity features. The government wants to distribute it to schools to enable students to download e-books and journals from its education portal. It has reportedly made deals with some textbook publishers for the content, some of it for free.

For the Indian media which has been projecting the device as India’s answer to low cost laptops and claiming that the device would usher in a revolution by bridging the “digital divide”, the unveiling of the “laptop” must have come as a rude shock! Well, that’s how useless the mainstream media in India really is. They don’t have a clue of what’s going on and keep dishing out sheer nonsense. For those who believed that this could be another ultra low cost product from India that has the potential to be a resounding success after the Tata Nano, the “laptop” turned out to be a damp squib! The officials had no answer when they were asked why the device was being touted as a laptop when it was not one.      😡

For now, the technology joke of the year can be awarded jointly to two of India’s worst institutions, the government bureaucracy and the mainstream media!!!    😀


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