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India’s $20 laptop

Tomorrow, India will unveil a prototype of the new “Sakshat” laptop, a $20 machine that is reportedly equipped with wireless connectivity and 2GB of memory. If this laptop is indeed commercially viable — which is a big “if” given the current financial climate — the Sakshat’s bargain basement price will almost certainly undercut the $100 ...

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Tomorrow, India will unveil a prototype of the new “Sakshat” laptop, a $20 machine that is reportedly equipped with wireless connectivity and 2GB of memory. If this laptop is indeed commercially viable — which is a big “if” given the current financial climate — the Sakshat’s bargain basement price will almost certainly undercut the $100 educational laptop initiative launched by former MIT computer scientist Nicolas Negroponte, whose One Laptop Per Child program left Indian bureaucrats a little chilly in the past.

The big question is, will the Sakshat go the way of the Tata Nano? Just today, Reuters India reported that fourth quarter losses have caused the Indian car company Tata to table its rollout of the $2,500 Nano for the foreseeable future. Given that the Sakshat laptop currently has no commercial manufacturing partner — only a prototype of the machine goes on display at the National Mission on Education tomorrow — perhaps Negroponte can rest easy. At least for now.

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