INDIA: $20 laptop follows $2,000 car

India is planning to produce a laptop computer for the knockdown price of about US$20, having come up with the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car at about $2,000, writes James Lamont in the Financial Times. The project, backed by New Delhi, would considerably undercut the so-called '$100 laptop', otherwise known as the Children's Machine or XO, that was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

The Children's Machine, which received a cool reception in India, is the centrepiece of the One Laptop Per Child charity initiative launched by Nicholas Negroponte, the computer scientist and former director of MIT's Media Lab. Intel launched a similar product, called Classmate. India's $20 laptop would also undercut the EeePC, made by Taiwan's Asustek.

India's 'Sakshat' laptop is intended to boost distance learning to help India fulfil its overwhelming educational needs. It forms part of a broader plan to improve e-learning at more than 18,000 colleges and 400 universities. Pioneered in India by scientists at Indian scientific and technological institutes and a state-owned semi-conductor laboratory, the laptop has 2Gb Ram capacity and wireless connectivity.
Full report on the Financial Times site