Buy a Laptop and Do Good

The nonprofit project named One Laptop Per Child is making an intriguing offer to laptop buyers -- buy two of ours, and we'll ship one of them to a child in a developing country.

The brainchild of MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte, this represents the culmination of his "$100 laptop" project. The actual cost of the XO laptop is $188. The cost to purchase two -- one for donation -- is $399 (I guess you don't get the volume discount). The manufacturer, Quanta Computer Inc., is beginning mass production next month. Negroponte is hoping that the combination of publicity and donated computers will encourage developing countries themselves to order millions of units for their citizens.

The XO Laptop (http://www.xogiving.com) is a truly unique piece of hardware, with a custom user interface running on top of a Linux distribution. It has very low power consumption, and its battery can be charged with a hand crank.

But here's the catch: The "Give One, Get One" program will run only between Nov. 12 to Nov. 26. Even if you don't buy into the goals of the project, it sounds like the laptop might be a collector's item.

Is Negroponte a visionary or kook? Send your thoughts to [email protected].

Posted by Peter Varhol on 09/25/2007 at 1:23 PM


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