Intel, Asustek Aim to Compete with OLPC

Intel, Asustek Aim to Compete with OLPC

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Don’t tell Nicholas Negroponte. He probably already knows, though. Chipmaking giant Intel has joined hands and resources with laptop maker Asustek on a low-cost laptop project, with an eye toward developing markets now being targeted by Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child project. That OLPC project is much farther along, has lots of orders already, and has a lower price tag than the Intel-Asustek joint venture. But as many people in the industry will tell you, don’t count Intel out. They don’t go into things lightly, and they hate to lose. Intel is already on the ground in Asia, inking agreements with several countries to send a thousand low-cost PCs overseas in the Classmates program. This new product would be a full-on laptop, albeit a low-end one, with an expected price tag of US$200. (The OLPC laptop, by comparison, is hand-crank-powered and comes with a price point of US$100.) Aiming to get the jump on OLPC, Intel and Asustek say they are aiming to start shipping their small-screen laptops by August at the latest.

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