Nicholas Negroponte, an MIT computer science expert, is the brain behind a low price laptop which was initially slated to sell for $100 (and mocked here by Bill Gates, who separates his philanthropic impulses from the profit motive at Microsoft.) Well, it's become a reality at one laptop per child , though the price has gone up by a a factor of two.
But the deal is that you get one if you buy one for the total of $399.
Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, we'll be happy to send you a reminder email. Just sign up in the box to the left and you'll receive your reminder prior to the November 12 launch date.
The machine is not Windows-based (naturally) so it is will not run the vast majority of software available, but that's not its purpose. It comes with software that does the basic functions - word processing, Web browser PDF reader and some games. Remember, its meant for third world schools. [image from NY Times]
It's green in color and green in function...it uses only 2 watts on the average (a normal one uses 60) and the battery lasts for 2000 charges (vs 500.)
The New York Time's David Pogue gave it a positive review:
In November, you’ll be able to buy a new laptop that’s spillproof, rainproof, dustproof and drop-proof. It’s fanless, it’s silent and it weighs 3.2 pounds. One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading. The laptop has a built-in video camera, microphone, memory-card slot, graphics tablet, game-pad controllers and a screen that rotates into a tablet configuration.
But the XO deserves to overcome those fears. Despite all the obstacles and doubters, O.L.P.C. has come up with a laptop that’s tough and simple enough for hot, humid, dusty locales; cool enough to keep young minds engaged, both at school and at home; and open, flexible and collaborative enough to support a million different teaching and learning styles. It’s a technological breakthrough, for sure.
Now let’s just hope it breaks through the human barriers [emphasis added].