Indian $10 laptop is just a standalone storage brick

The Indian $10 laptop project had analysts and engineers alike all wondering how the margins for an educational computer could be brought down to make such a low price possible.  Now the device's launch makes it all clear: it's not actually a laptop at all.  In fact, the device is a storage device intended to offer access to a catalog of educational materials, accessed by a separate computer or, according to some reports, a separate printer.

Measuring 10 x 5 inches, going by the one picture purported to be of the device that has leaked out, it has a small integral display and a number of ports that presumably can be hooked up to a separate computer or a printer to reproduce ebook materials.  The Indian government has apparently made deals with several mainstream textbook suppliers who will be distributing their content through the device, including making 5-percent of it freely available.

However, far from being a standalone laptop, not even the promised price has been achieved.  The current estimated sales cost is $30, three times the target.  A secretary in the Ministry of Education believes that cost-cutting exercises will bring that down, but this is overall a disappointing (if predictable) end to the $10 laptop promise.

[via pluggd]