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David Pogue Reviews the Amazing $100 Laptop

Back in March we discussed a new initiative called the One Laptop Per Child project which is aiming to provide low-cost OX laptops to children in developing nations. According to CNN Money, the OLPC already has around 7,000 machines in demonstration projects in about fifteen countries including Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and Rwanda. We've heard alot about this project in the past few months, but now we actually get to see it in action thanks to New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. In this video below which was featured on Gizmodo, you'll get an eye-opening review of the $100 laptop (actually $188 laptop to be exact) and learn about all its incredible features. A must-watch indeed! I'd love to know your feedback about this video. Leave your comments below!

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geohiker geohiker 9 years
This program is such a great one, and such a good idea for kids to help them learn about technology. I think some of the information about how it is being used in schools might not be filtering out; the whole point is that it is for educational purposes. Kids and teachers can work together online to learn in school - but they also have a fantastic opportunity to take it home and work, or let other family members also have the opportunity to learn. Not all learning happens within the four brick walls of a school; that's kind of the point to the digital world! These are not kids who have nifty laptops at home; they may not even have electricity and running water. Having a laptop of your own, that you can use as you wish and that your family can use to learn, would be an incredible educational tool for any kid, but especially for kids who do not have a lot of other advantages. (And, just because bad things might possibly happen - a kid being mugged for a computer - does not mean the whole program is flawed. That happens every day, but we don't ban cell phones or computers here; it should not be different elsewhere.) No big plan is perfect, but it does seem like it is really designed to help kids and a lot of work has gone into making it as great as possible. I think this is a fantastic program, and I hope it is widely expanded to let every kid have access to education!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I love this idea.
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
how cheap!
darlene darlene 9 years
i think its great
gspencer gspencer 9 years
I don't know how well the program of getting and sending one will be... BUT I think the laptop itself is cool. Maybe schools (in the US or elsewhere) could buy them for their students and they could be "leased" out for the year (like Textbooks). This would work I think for many situations and better than the neubulus "some kid in a developing country will get one (after said country buys them... or something)". If I was to buy one, I'd much rather be able to choose where my gift laptop would go. Heck, maybe I'd even throw in the one "for myself" in too. That would be a great way to give them out and have some accountability (by the one who gave them). I guess we'll just have to wait to see how this company and their program turns out.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
DaddysDarlin, I have to agree. The idea is cool, but with that cost they should be giving the computers to schools in the US. There are still lots of people in America, especially children in public schools, who don't have/can't afford a computer. On another note, I don't appreciate being called a "snarky blogger." ^_^;;
DaddysDarlin DaddysDarlin 9 years
I think its pretty cool, so now we now those big computer companies can make a good product for cheap, why not offer them to the kids in our own schools who don't have enough computers to go around? Would be great in Utah where I am from, since Utah is last in spending per school children in the United States and boasts the largest classroom sizes, our children could certainly benefit.
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
I meant: "there are other ways to help out developing countries...." must. proofread. comment. before. posting.
pinkflats pinkflats 9 years
nelore, i agree with what you said. because i too was born in a developing/third world country and i know what you are saying about kids getting jealous. though i think th idea of giving away lap tops to needy kids is pretty cool, especially that it helps out the kids, i still think that there are other reasons to help out developing schools, how about just funding a school, donating books, scholarships to those who are in need of financial help. actually i like all these options better than giving lap tops. i don't think lap tops would allow needy kids to read harry potter books so to expand their imagination and creativity.
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
I saw the story about this thing on 60 Minutes. Nelore, these computers apparently have a built-in thing-a-ma-jig to make it stop working if thugs take it away from a child. Looseseal, I read your post and I agree with what you said. I don't think this is done for the right reasons. When I said "thugs," well, allow me to explain myself. My family is from Jamaica. Granted Jamaica is NOT a third-world country/developing nation, I'm going to use it as an example, because what I'm about to say happens in third-world countries/developing nations, as well. Like I said, my family is from Jamaica. My mother came to America to make a life for herself, leaving her two boys and mother down there. She came here about thirty years ago, and to this day she STILL sends money to her family. Sometimes we'll send down barrels. Barrels are giant containers that can store a variety of things and can be shipped to another country for a fee (anyone who is West Indian knows exactly what I'm talking about). Now, for example, if my mother sends down a pair of Nike sneakers that are all the rage in the US for my cousin, and my cousin goes to school wearing said sneakers, he/she WILL get beaten up. Why? Because the other kids are jealous. The mentality is, "Why do you get to have that if I can't?!" Such a mentality is WORSE in a developing nation. Yes, maybe a good portion of children will receive these laptops, but unless a laptop can be given to EACH child AND adult in these countries, I only see negative repercussions. Even with that said, I don't think laptops need to be given out. I mean, WTF?! "Oh, let's give away laptops and we can get a tax write-off! YEAH!!!!!!! I LOVE charity! I'm such a good person!!!!" I hate it when people use charity as an excuse to look good. I'm going through college with the ultimate purpose of making a philanthropist. This makes me sick. Instead of masking the problem, why don't they try and get to the root of the problem by building SCHOOLS and bettering the EDUCATION? Education SHOULD come first. Gee, what a thought!
jdots24 jdots24 9 years
I think it looks pretty cool and has lots of neat features.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I do applaud OLPC for innovations such as making the a laptop so indestructible from exposure to the elements, the eco-friendly recharging methods, and the wifi signal repeater function. Its use of Linux. It does have its value, and if they make a profit, it's definitely not completely unearned. I just think it's disingenuous to call it a charity. Yes, it's a piece of technology that might do some good in the world. But plenty of technology have done good in the world without making itself out to be purely altruistic.
Leopardcc Leopardcc 9 years
I think it is a great program all around. Step off snarky bloggers! :)
KadBunny KadBunny 9 years
I have to say, while I dislike the whole "oh, yes, I'm helping children--NOW GIVE ME YOUR MONEY" feel of it, I honestly don't care how he does it. As long as the plan IS helping children, and clearly it is. At least he's done something. Besides you can't blame the guy for at least wanting a bit of profit out of it. So yaay :) The snarky bloggers can stuff it; the laptop has all the basic features a little kid needs and that makes me happy. It's a step in the right direction.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I saw the story about this thing on 60 Minutes. Nelore, these computers apparently have a built-in thing-a-ma-jig to make it stop working if thugs take it away from a child. The guy who came up with this says it's not about making money for himself. But considering the developing countries actually have to buy these (we're talking millions of dollars worth of computers here), and how pissed the guy was about the fact that other computer manufacturers are making and marketing similar computers and cutting into his market share... er, I mean, philanthropy... I have to say I have my doubts. If the real goal is indeed, like he says, getting technology to places that otherwise wouldn't have access to tech, why hate on those other companies for copying (stealing) the idea? Aren't they helping this goal be achieved faster for more places and more children? The only downside is that they won't be buying from the "One Laptop Per Child" company. Okay, it's fair game if this guy wants to exploit... er, I mean, take advantage... er, I mean, HELP poor countries by selling them cheap laptops. But to disguise it as a charity? An initiative? A project? For the children? Come on! It's a business. I bet calling it "charity" nets the company a nice big tax write-off. And it gets suckers to donate to the "cause" (pay $400 for one of these machines in the name of "donating" one to a poooor child for each one they purchase). Riiight. Who knows where that money actually goes? But somehow I do get the feeling that it will be written-off come tax-time. Nice little racket here.
Molly Molly 9 years
That video (and the laptop) makes me smile. I'm interested to see how useful it has been for the kids who have them. Also, I soooo want my laptop to have that b&w feature for computing in the sun.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Haha, almost..or more?..useful than a regular laptop.
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 9 years
thats interesting indeed. i say go for it.
mediafreak mediafreak 9 years
looks really good. maybe it'll be able to replace textbooks
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
Wait. I know it's the thought that counts and whatnot. But I think the keyword here is DEVELOPING--as in DEVELOPING nations. Before they give every poor child a laptop that will be stolen by ruthless thugs, shouldn't they start building and sending them to schools, first? I'm just saying....
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