India unveils $30 laptop

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New Delhi: India on July 23 unveiled a Rs. 1,500 (around $30) laptop designed specifically for students. “If more companies decide to manufacture a similar device, prices will come down automatically,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said after unveiling the low-cost access-cum-computing device in the capital.

The device would be made available to students in 2011. When the Ministry floated the concept of a low-cost laptop some years ago, officials said it would cost Rs. 500 ($10). It will now cost about three times the initial projections.

The Ministry expects the prices to drop to Rs. 1,000 ($20) and reach Rs. 500($10) as innovations are introduced.

The device, no bigger than a conventional laptop, is a single unit system with a touch screen and a built in key board along with a 2 GB RAM memory, wi-fi connectivity, USB port and powered by a 2-watt system to suit poor power supply areas.

“This is real and tangible and we will take it forward. Sun will rise for the Indian students in 2011,” he said.

The low cost laptops will be distributed in institutions by the HRD Ministry. The final price will depend on the transportation cost.

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