dmp edubookRemember when we used to call the OLPC XO Laptop the $100 laptop? OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte overpromised and underdelivered when it came to price and the XO now costs closer to $200. That’s still pretty impressive, all things considered, and the XO really did launch the netbook revolution. But the price never dropped to the promised $100 level, and so the idea of a $100 laptop was a bit of a marketing mishap.

But since then we’ve seen several companies push out fairly crappy laptops that really do run closer to $100 than $200. And you can often find refurbished first generation netbooks like the Eee PC 701 going for $150 or less.

Now DMP Electronics in Taiwan is getting in on the $100 laptop action with a machine called the Edubook. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the computer seems to be based on a similar design and concept as the Nohrtec Gecko Edubook. Both the DMP and Nohrtec versions run on AAA batteries and feature a modular design that lets customers choose the components they need and assemble the laptops themselves to save money.

Nohrtec is selling the Edubook for about $200, but the company has been promising for a while that you’d be able to pick it up for a lower price if you choose barebones units and order in bulk. With that in mind, it’s not entirely clear what you get for your $100 if you order a DMP version. I’m not betting on WiFi being included in the cost.

Update: The DMB version of the laptop will apparently be a barebones machines with a CPU, motherboard, and display but no storage, batteries, power cord, or WiFi. In other words, if you want a completely functional computer, you’re still going to have to pay more than $100. See the comment from Michael Barnes of Nohrtec below for more details.

What you do get is a cheap netbook with an 8.9 inch display and a low power CPU. If the DMP Edubook uses the same processor as the Nohrtec model, it’s an x86-compatible 1GHz Xcore86 CPU that can run Windows or Linux.

via SlashGear

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6 replies on “DMP Edubook: Another shot at the mythical $100 netbook”

  1. This article is completely inaccurate. I have contacted DMP about this as well. I will try to clear this up here.

    NorhTec has been a longtime customer of DMP’s. Two years ago, DMP told me that they could produce a CPU that was similar to their Vortex86DX but targeted towards more commercial applications than pure industrial and embedded. I proposed setting up a company to focus on this CPU which is Xcore (www.xcore86.com). We signed an agreement to this effect.

    Xcore focused on Education projects in emerging markets as NorhTec already had a presence in this market. We brought our requirements to DMP and we agreed on sharing the name Edubook which Xcore coined for the same product. Xcore was granted exclusivity in some markets and we began to jointly promote the product to customers.

    DMP conceived the idea of offering a SKD barebones version with a minimum quantity of 1000 units. The barebones means no storage, no batteries, no power cord and no WIFI. SKD means that the parts are shipped as a kit to be assembled locally.

    Some of the deals that we are together have the potential for several hundred thousand units. Together we have quoted very large opportunities which would involve shippng 100s of thousands of units to countries either assembled, assembled barebones, SKD complete and SKD barebones.

    The price we have offered on these deals will make the Edubook the lowest priced x86 computer ever offered but the Edubook is in now way a cheap or crappy product. Out of the preproduction units we have shipped, we have seen no failures involving the electronics. The only problems we have seen have been from damage from customers who are taking the units apart and putting together again testing the units.

    The Edubooks started shipping October 1st. We have held back shipping preproduction units — even when customers literally begged because we wanted to make the units production ready. The inital shipments are slowed as some of the parts are sourced in china which is having a week long holiday.

    Today, the end user price for 512 MB RAM is $199.95. This is a completely assembled product. The product will be sold to dealers oor volume customers at a discount. We also offer a barebones assembled version for $150.00.

    No customer has yet been offered or promised an assembled production unit, complete or barebones for $100.00 by DMP or NorhTec — even at 10,000 units.

    1. Ah, so – the “week long Chinese holiday” resurfaces.
      The last NetBook that got caught in that was the Everex Cloudbook.
      Not a high point in the world of NetBooks.

    2. Once you start shipping units internationally, who would I talk to about getting ahold of one of the barebones SKD systems? I have been wanting to use Edubook components in custom decorative computers since hearing about them.

  2. Hope to see this someday soon with:
    – 10.1 inch screen
    – Great Speakers inside due to space resulting from System on Chip
    – Back lighting for Keyboard via on/off switch for use on dark train or plane
    – Pixel Qi power saving tech and Screen (with touchscreen too) w/20 hour battery
    – 1366×768 or HD (better) resolution
    – AA Battery (of course is a wonderful feature)
    – New Kubuntu 9.10 for Netbooks OS -full screen all the time (alt-tab key feature)
    – $100 price (WOW)…! These could be hard plastic wrapped and sold on a peg in the hardware OR drug store OR at that price could pick one up at the gift store at the airport or train station.

  3. I filmed this at Computex here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR7aPQpLEgU

    Nicholas Negroponte makes the $100 Laptop a possibility.

    If 6 million units had been ordered, the $100 price point would have been reached already. By switching from AMD Geode to VIA, OLPC XO-1.5 may reach the $100 price point sooner, though millions more orders are required for that to happen.

    OLPC XO-2 due next year will definitely be priced below $100 since it uses the ARM processor which consumes much lower power thus costs much less to manufacture.

    And Intel netbooks are not $150, that’ only when some retailers are dumping old stocks of it and selling them at a loss.

    1. And all this doesn’t take into account that XO is quite rugged…closer to some Toughbooks than to typical netbooks and laptops, actually. Plus now XO-1.5 is fast enough…

      Also, IMHO, AA batteries should be left alone out of such products. Especially when talking about markets of XO – batteries are simply way too expensive there, comparatively. One could use rechargables…but what’s the point then, when you can have rechargable Li-Ion/Li-Po battery that’s way more optimised for the device?

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