10-dollar-non-laptopYou know that $10 Sakshat laptop that Indian officials unveiled yesterday? Yeah, it’s not a laptop. I’ve been reading conflicting information about this device for the past few months. Sometimes it’s supposed to cost $10, sometimes $100. And sometimes it’s called a laptop while other times it had been referred to as a portable computer, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as a laptop.

Now that the first image of the device has popped up online, the picture is becoming a bit more clear. As I predicted last week, there’s no keyboard or display. The box is a portable device that’s about 10 inches by 5 inches, and which can store information. You can access that info from a full fledged computer. It sounds to me like this is a glorified USB flash drive, but it’s also supposed to be able to let users connect to the internet, so I’m guessing there’s some sort of processor in there.

The price right now is being pegged at closer to $30 than $10, but the goal is to bring the cost down so that the Sakshat doesn’t cost much more than a textbook. You know, unless you also want to plug in a monitor and keyboard.

via Engadget

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18 replies on “India’s $10 computer ain’t a laptop”

  1. But can’t you do the same thing with a come box? Witch cost about $100. 2 USB ports and Internet capability. Still it does appear to be cheaper, for a while.

  2. Only India would try to make something worthless… how about that cheap car??

  3. Yet another BS from India. India people are nothing but scammer when it comes to advancement in technology. The only good thing of india is that their workforce are cheap

  4. only country in this world capable of building a low cost computer is CHINA but not INDIA. china has cheap labour. this is common sense. thanks

  5. When you say that there’s “no keyboard or CPU”, bu then later say that “I’m guess there’s some sort of processor in there.”, what is your definition of CPU? CPU = Central Processing Unit, no?

  6. My textbooks cost me $120-$150 a piece. If textbooks in India cost around $30, then I just got a major dose of culture shock.

  7. i hope they change that name. it’s way too easy for me to say “Sack-shit” instead.

  8. “Why such old chips?”

    There are System-on-a-Chips with older processors which have been staples in the embedded world for quite some time. When the cost of everything is added up, these can provide significant savings – essentially the system is 1 chip w/ the minimum board size and ancillary electronic parts (mostly port adapters, resisters and capacitors).

  9. Why such old chips? A brand new p4 2.8ghz chip costs a paltry 19$ today (much to my chagrin over the past few days as I was parting out my old desktop). I’m sure that earlier pentiums go even cheaper. The big issue would be power consumption and cooling I believe.

  10. The interesting thing is, a $10-$30 computer (with keyboard) is probably possible to do. Not so sure about a $10-$30 laptop, unless you go with a supercheap b/w, low res display, but even then it’d probably be in the $50-$100 range.

    As for the cheapo computer, create an 8-bit ‘system-on-a-chip’, such as what they use for those retro arcade joysticks. They have NES, Genesis, and even C-64 models now. So make a C-64/Spectrum/Apple II/etc chip, or if ambitious, Amiga (16 bit), chip in the $5 or so range, include a keyboard, add some flash memory (not much needed), and there you go.

    It wouldn’t be the same as a netbook as we know it, but for the third world, young children, or retro people, it could have a market.

  11. But then, monitors are only a distraction and keyboards get you into trouble.
    Such as being able to type this post. 😉

  12. Yeah, guess this was predictible…

    Can you see that guy on the right of the picture?

    I can read his lips:

    “That guy has a camera, get him before he takes a picture!!”


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