Monday, September 24, 2007

$100 laptops

The $100 laptop are ready for sale (bbc link). These laptops were designed especially for children in developing countries. The design includes the low price (although it’s now about $200) , water proof case and the ability to use solar or foot power to charge the battery. While the cheap laptop seems like a marvel of technology, I’m still skeptical that the money is best spent on laptop. As a Tunisian government official said:

"If you live in a mud hut what use is that computer for your children who don't have a doctor within walking distance?" (article)

I'm still looking for good economic evaluations of the impact of giving out these laptops to students in the developing world.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

It's not the laptops that are great--it's the promise they bring. If they come loaded with educational software, or a library of books, that's something amazing. (But, then up up up goes the price, defeating the purpose.)

Or, even better, if the infrastructure was in place so that the kids could go online and reach libraries around the world. That would be cool. But, once again, up goes the price, defeating the purpose...