The $100 Laptop

The idea behind MIT’s $100 laptop initiative is to have one laptop per child, individually owned and cared for. The lime green laptop, which sports a handcrank and a swivel screen debuted in Tunis this week. The official word is that these laptops will be produced in huge quantities (5-10 million) with governments or donors purchasing them in bulk for distribution to students. Jon Husband forwards an additional twist on this initiative that is a bit more grassroots:

"How about offering a commercial version that costs twice as much? Do it in a different semi-florescent color and those who would buy them would be buying one for kid some where."  … Well .. why not ? I’d buy one at $200 if I knew some child or woman in an underdeveloped part of the world were going to receive a laptop they could use.

Given that most of the students in most of our schools do not have their own laptop, I think that a higher-priced version for students in more wealthy countries would not be a bad idea (my previous comments on laptops in schools – One Reason for Laptops & The Laptop Furor).
Like Jon, I would gladly pay about $(CA)300 to purchase one for my children and another for someone else. If this happens, would there be any pressure on governments to not allow a commercial version of this laptop in order to appease the oligopolies?

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