MIT Media Lab's $100 Laptop

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,478
205
visiting from downstream
Raven VII said:
This could be an odd situation, an university selling a mass-market product.
Not really... the Media Lab won't be selling the $100 laptop in the US and other First World countries. For that matter, they won't actually be making or selling them, either. They're doing this to see if it can be done, and to help people in developing countries have access to the same information technologies that we have here. You have to remember that $100 is more than a lot of these folks earn in a year, so Western/Japanese technology is WAY out of their reach.

The laptops themselves will probably be built under contract... the funds to pay for them will come from the governments of those countries, from the Media Lab, and (I'm sure) from Western philanthropic organizations.
 
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mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
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københavn
Nice, I want one too. But 100$ is still a fortune in many places, and if you don't have electricity... or food it won't be of much use. So I guess the market for it will only be around 1 billion people.

A
 
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liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,158
26
Lincoln,UK
ok so it seems like a good idea windup and all but why don't the just dontate all the old laptops that people get rid of and give them that ? all they need to do then is develope a windup power adapter that powers the lappy ?

in the UK there is talk of all the waste old PC and Laptop kits that are being put into land fill sites why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone
 
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joecool85

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,355
1
Maine
I think the problem with that would be making sure that all the old crap was going to work and run properly, also it would be very hard to make all the laptops roughly the same as the others...one kid might get a 486 @ 66mhz and the next a pentium 2 @ 400mhz or something. Also, I think that regular laptops wouldn't hold up to being dropped and stuff like that, and it sounds like this one is suppose to be super rugged. I like how they mention Maine as showing how important laptops are for kids. Right now we (I live in Maine) have a program so that all 7th graders get a iBook to keep through High School. All the school districts are a little bit different in how it works, but for the most part it is the child's computer and they can bring it home with them etc.
 
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Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
the implication of $25 screens is huge.....because if you can get ones that are a little larger and have decent specs, they'd bring down the price of all the laptops.

D
 
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stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
joecool85 said:
I think the problem with that would be making sure that all the old crap was going to work and run properly, also it would be very hard to make all the laptops roughly the same as the others...one kid might get a 486 @ 66mhz and the next a pentium 2 @ 400mhz or something. Also, I think that regular laptops wouldn't hold up to being dropped and stuff like that, and it sounds like this one is suppose to be super rugged. I like how they mention Maine as showing how important laptops are for kids. Right now we (I live in Maine) have a program so that all 7th graders get a iBook to keep through High School. All the school districts are a little bit different in how it works, but for the most part it is the child's computer and they can bring it home with them etc.
another problem is the illusion that you are dumping in disguise on to a 3rd world country, more to your benefit than theirs. And with computers that are failing. Just a thought not an accusation.
 
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stoid

macrumors 601
stubeeef said:
another problem is the illusion that you are dumping in disguise on to a 3rd world country, more to your benefit than theirs. And with computers that are failing. Just a thought not an accusation.
Maybe the old laptops could be gutted to take out their best/most functional parts. That would be cheaper than manufacturing new ones, and you could have a greater level of quality control. Also, then you are still making a new product, you are just recycling older but still useful parts.
 
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mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
liketom said:
ok so it seems like a good idea windup and all but why don't the just dontate all the old laptops that people get rid of and give them that ? all they need to do then is develope a windup power adapter that powers the lappy ?

in the UK there is talk of all the waste old PC and Laptop kits that are being put into land fill sites why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone
...and they'd all be force to deal with windows - like they don't have enough problems allready. A robust portable with a basic system makes sense in a place with not too many shops to bring it back to and have it fixed.

MongoTheGeek said:
Article had them as being potentially windup.
sorry, what is meant by "windup" - that they're just on their way up?

A
 
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mcadam

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2004
593
0
københavn
stoid said:
Seems to mean that rather than being powered by an electric socket like most electronics it will have a capacitor/battery powered by a manual hand crank like and old phonograph.

Thanks stoid. I wonder how much manual labor it would take to charge the batteries then. You could probably make one or two goats pull the mechanism though.

A
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,700
2,727
Sod off
What a good idea!

When you think about it, today's laptops are overly complex...After all, Apollo got us to the Moon and back on a computer that would get toasted by a TI36X solar calculator.

My prediction is that the hardest part wil be getting that first order - once they're on the market they will sell themselves. The problem will be finding a third-world country that can afford $100 million for a bunch of laptops.
 
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Crikey

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2004
356
0
Spencer's Butte, Oregon
This is a cool initiative, but it will face the same problems as other "thin-client" projects. By the time it's in production, in early 2007, an iBook will cost $500 and the low-end Dell laptop will cost $350. The economies of scale of the computer market make it really hard for a stripped-down product to maintain a price advantage over gear that was cutting edge last year but now has to be sold at a deep discount. I know MIT plans to take advantage of their own economies of scale, with million-machine minimum orders; it will be interesting to see how well that works.

One to watch.


Crikey
 
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TheGimp

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2004
391
0
anywhere, usa
Give the ill-reputed build quality of many laptop pc's costing several times as much, what happens when you get a poor kid emotionally dependent on one of these things and then it breaks? I bet these things cost more to repair than to manufacture. Not to mention that many of these kids would first and foremost want to see the laptop's guts more than its software.
 
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pubwvj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
1,897
202
Mountains of Vermont
stoid said:
Maybe the old laptops could be gutted to take out their best/most functional parts. That would be cheaper than manufacturing new ones, and you could have a greater level of quality control. Also, then you are still making a new product, you are just recycling older but still useful parts.
Rebuilding the older ones will cost more than building from scratch. Amazing but true. Not only that but the ones that are built from scratch can be built better to be more rugged and long lasting.
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Xacent said:
I'm amazed to even see a prototype. I'm still skeptical of the whole project, Quanta must be extatic seeing as 5-15 million units would be 5-15% of the company's total sales to date.


Oh and this has been previously discussed here:

https://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/11/20051114111820.shtml
Actually, I posted this thread in March. I'm all over it, baby.

And Quanta couldn't possibly be making a lot of money on each laptop, so the only benefit for them is publicity? How about bragging about the number of computers they produce?
 
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