India develops world’s cheapest “laptop” at $35

NEW DELHI, (Reuters Life!) – India has come up with the world’s cheapest “laptop,” a touch-screen computing device that costs $35.

India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal this week unveiled the low-cost computing device that is  designed for students, saying his department had started talks  with global manufacturers to start mass production.    “We have reached a (developmental) stage that today, the  motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of  them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display,  everything,” he told a news conference.

He said the touchscreen gadget was packed with Internet  browsers, PDF reader and video conferencing facilities but its  hardware was created with sufficient flexibility to incorporate  new components according to user requirement.

Sibal said the Linux based computing device was expected to  be introduced to higher education institutions from 2011 but  the aim was to drop the price further to $20 and ultimately to  $10.

The device was developed by research teams at India’s  premier technological institutes, the Indian Institute of  Technology and the Indian Institute of Science.

India spends about three percent of its annual budget on  school education and has improved its literacy rates to over 64  percent of its 1.2 billion population but studies have shown  many students can barely read or write and most state-run  schools have inadequate facilities.

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