The $125 laptop
is here! Developed by the famous MIT Media Laboratory in Boston, the laptop will be launched later this month. It should start to appear in volume next year. The laptop is described as being ideal for schools and children, and its creators believe that it will greatly improve the level of education and help stimulate children to learn outside of school as well as in the classroom.
The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Nicholas Negroponte, the lab's chairman and co-founder. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone enabled and come with 1GB of memory. Each laptop will act as a node in a mesh peer-to-peer ad hoc network, Negroponte said, meaning that if one laptop is directly accessing the Internet, when other machines power on, they can share that single online connection.
The laptop will initially be targeted in Brazil, China, Egypt, South Africa and Thailand, with mass production of some 5 million to 15 million laptops scheduled for towards the end of 2006.