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OLPC - Give One Get One

Cool Tech

November 12, 2007 07:57 PM PST

The One Laptop Per Child project started accepting orders for the handy little computers today. The goal is to create a $100 laptop for developing nations, however the first iteration of the laptop costs $200. Initially these laptops were only going to be sold in large amounts to overseas schools, but OLPC has decided on a "forced charity" model that allows anyone to buy one. It's actually quite ingenious. If you want one of the laptops, you must also buy a second one to be donated to a kid overseas.

So the deal is, for $400 you get a cool little laptop and also provide one for a kid to become the next Jobs, Gates, or Mitnick. But that's not all! T-Mobile is offering one year of free Wi-Fi at all their hotspots across the US. You can also write off $200 of the purchase as charity.

The specs of the machine are a mixed bag. The CPU speed and ram are low, but the screen is an impressive 1200x900 at 200dpi, and also has a layered black and white display that is daylight readable. The laptop also supposedly has incredible Wi-Fi range and has huge battery life. All software and OS is open source - Steve Jobs offered free copies of OS X for all the laptops and was turned down because it's closed source.

So click here and sign up for "give one get one".
One Laptop Per Child: Give 1 Get 1
Comments (5)

John, November 12, 2007 11:21 PM:

A small clarification, the screen is 1200x900 in monochrome mode (daylight) in color it is 800x600. The display is actually pretty clever. When they are not doing color they can use some of the color RGB pixels to generate more resolution grayscale. The display also has the ability to continue to show an image while the processor, ram etc are powered down. This is one way to get really good battery life. Especially in sunlight mode (no backlight on). The processor is only 433Mhz though.

To get this down to 200 was a pretty big feat. It has a built in web cam, a display that folds flat, wifi mesh routing, a capacitive touch pad and two stylus touch pads. Why two I have no idea. Too bad the handcrank idea was abandoned.

This might make a good web thin client. The Asus EEE-PC has better specs though, but at a higher price.

Paul, November 13, 2007 08:03 PM:

My iMac is a very thin web client.

john, November 19, 2007 12:36 PM:

Well this and the EEE-PC have prompted a response from Dell:

A real 15.4" laptop, with a real processor, hard drive and RAM for $399. Not really targeted at the same market. But if I wanted to pickup an extra laptop...

Paul, November 27, 2007 07:34 PM:

Fake Steve hammers Mr. OLPC.

J, March 25, 2008 01:02 AM:

My OLPC arrived last week. I'm waiting to do a a review until I can get xubuntu installed on an SD card. The built in linux runs a special interface called "Sugar" that is interesting, but hard to gauge hardware speed. Initially, the form factor and features seem really cool, but the keyboard size is pretty brutal.

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