A collaborative team between the Indian governments ministry of science and ministry of technology will unveil a super-low-cost computer on February 3rd, as part of the country’s $10 laptop project. Specifications of the notebook – which is intended for education use – are unconfirmed, but unofficial sources suggest it will have 2GB of memory, both ethernet and WiFi connectivity, the ability to expand the storage and low power requirements of just 2W, all in a small, portable package.
What still isn’t entirely clear is how costs can be brought down to such an extent. Currently the price is working out to around double the budget per machine – still an impressive feat by itself – but a secretary for education in the Indian government believes that will change once it enters production: “At this stage, the price is working out to be $20 but with mass production it is bound to come down.”
India rejected the OLPC XO-1 notebook claiming that the total cost per unit of $200 was simply too expensive to consider a full-scale roll-out. Instead, the government invested in e-classroom technologies – including four mainstream textbook publishers, around 5-percent of whose content will be offered free – and is considering a plan to subsidize internet connections for every school.