Possible for commercial sales?
As expected, India’s $20 laptop was officially unveiled yesterday, despite ongoing worries that the device won’t become available at that price point. Officials responsible for what is now known as the “Sakshat” laptop have declared that this portable system will be priced at $10. Availability is slated for six months after the laptop goes into mass production. The Sakshat, which is the fruit of a project that was meant to provide an alternative to OLPC’s XO laptop, is expected to come with 2GB of memory, which can be expanded. The system is said to boast Wi-Fi and fixed Ethernet capability and consume no less than 2 watts of power. As mentioned in previous articles, the laptop was designed as an educational tool and is the result of a project that involved the cooperative effort of the Indian government and academic institutions.
“A lot of testing has to be done to ensure that the technology works properly,” said R.P. Agrawal, India’s Higher Education Secretary, according to Indian media sources. “Once the testing is over, the computers will be made available on commercial basis. The target is to make it available in six months’ time.” he added.
Currently, there are no available details on the processor or RAM memory of the Sakshat, but it is expected that it will provide a simple version of a Linux-based open source operating system. There are still questions regarding the financial details on said laptop, given that the price tag of an LCD could easily top the price point of the overall system. In addition, there are claims that the laptop is just part of an electoral campaign, as India will soon see some important elections.
OLPC’s XO laptop started the media buzz around the low-cost system designed for educational purposes. It was this project that led to the announcement of the Sakshat, which will likely compete with OLPC’s product.