Luxury items for the poor

iconInventors are working on a $100 laptop computer that will be targeted at the poor. Now, I agree that a computer is a wonderful educational tool, and making them more affordable is a noble effort. But even if you don't consider a computer to be a luxury item, a laptop computer certainly would be. I mean, we already have $400 desktops, so getting to $100 isn't outside the realm. But a laptop? Is that so the poor can take the computer with them when they are traveling the globe? Or perhaps they are targeting homeless transients who are always on the go.

Far be it for me to stand in the way of someone trying to build a cheaper computer. But it occurs to me that the standard of "poor" has changed radically over the years. Especially when someone can still own a house, have cable TV, give their kids $200 sneakers, and now purchase a laptop, and still be called "poor".

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The way I understand it they're intended for third-world countries- distributing one for a village, rather than a family. Making it a laptop makes it easier for it to be passed around, and there isn't likely to be continual electrical power, so a battery is a necessity anyway.

Posted by: Eric at February 10, 2005 11:46 PM

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