Wednesday, 17 August 2011

World's Cheapest Computer Unveiled in India for $35

Tablet Computer - Jeff Vergara
Tablet Computer

Move over, iPad! The world's cheapest computer was recently unveiled in India. Designed for students, the tablet computer will cost a mere $35.
Computers sure have come a long way! Just a few short years ago, desktop computers and monitors were big, bulky and slow. Laptop computers were heavy and expensive. Today, desktops, laptops and netbooks are slimmer, faster, lighter and much more affordable. But imagine being able to purchase a brand new Wi-Fi enabled tablet computer for less than $50!

India’s $35 Tablet Computer

According to a recent report by the Associated Press, India has developed a new tablet computer designed for students. While there is nothing new about designing a new computer, this particular system is expected to cost $35.

Last week, India’s Union Cabinet Minister for Human Resources Development (HRD), Kapil Sibal, unveiled a new low-cost tablet computer prototype. The computer was developed to provide Internet connectivity to students and teachers at an affordable price. The world’s cheapest computer, yet to be named, is powered by a 2-watt system for use in areas with little power.

$35 Tablet Computer Features:

  • Open-source Linux operating system

  • 2GB RAM

  • Internet browser

  • Wi-Fi enabled

  • USB port

  • PDF reader

  • Open Office Suite

  • Multi-media software

  • Video conferencing tools

Although there is no hard disk, the computer uses a memory card similar to many mobile devices. Additional features may also include a solar power option for recharging in rural areas where electricity is scarce.
Developed by students and professors at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), it is expected the new computer will be introduced to higher educational institutions sometime in 2011. The government initially plans to roll out one million computers to university students and then expand the distribution to include secondary and primary schools.

While no manufacturer or distributor deal for mass production have been made yet, several have reportedly shown interest in the ultra-cheap, super-sleek handheld device.

One Laptop per Child Campaign

Several years ago, MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte launched the non-profit organization, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a campaign that brought the world of affordable computing to children in developing countries. While the first XO laptop computers cost about $200 each, OLPC is planning on launching a basic tablet computer for $99. For more information, please visit the OLPC website.

While $35 sounds like a great deal for a brand new computer, just imagine being able to buy a system with a crisp $10 bill! The ultimate goal is further reduce the price tag and sell the tablet for just $10 per unit!

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