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Intel's $400 OLPC rival
And it costs $400 USD

It appears that while the OLPC group busy gathering up secured orders and contemplating whether or not it should use Linux or Windows XP as its operating system, a competitor is brewing. Intel announced this week that it is co-operating with Brazil's government body to introduce a low cost laptop competitive with the OLPC XO machine.

Currently, Intel is testing out its low-cost, small-size laptop with a select number of areas in Brazil. The laptop is roughly the same size as the XO but costs about $400 while the XO is only $140. Intel said however, that once production ramps up and enough orders are secured, the $400 entry price will drop dramatically. Intel mentioned that it was pleased the Brazil's government was willing to test out the units. Intel said that it will also donate roughly 800 units of its laptop to school students as a pilot run.

Intel's goal is definitely to target the large population in Brazil that do not have access to technology. In fact, out of the 187 million people living in Brazil, nearly 20-percent do not have access to a computer. "The goal clearly is to make millions and millions of these," said John Davies, an Intel vice president for sales and marketing. Intel did acknowledge that Brazil will be testing both its own laptop and the XO unit in classrooms.

One of the main differences with Intel's laptop and the XO machine is where they are manufactured. The XO is being manufactured in China, and then shipped in large quantities to other regions around the world, but Intel's approach is different. Instead tagging high shipping prices onto the laptop, Intel is lining up regional manufacturers to make its laptop. According to reports, Intel has manufacturers in Brazil lined up to make its laptop.

Despite the shipping costs, OLPC group president Walter Bender said "cost $250 to ship a laptop from Shanghai to Sao Paulo." The Intel laptop is roughly half the size of a traditional laptop that has a 15-inch display. The unit comes with a color 7-inch display and flash memory for storage. No hard drive and no optical drive is included and the unit weighs about 2.9 pounds.

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Can get a real laptop for $400
By Dwezil on 12/6/2006 1:55:33 PM , Rating: 5
You can buy a real laptop with a hard drive, dvd drive and 12" display for around $400 (not high powered of course, but very usable) for sale on a regular basis. I'm sure there must be some laptop manufacturers that would like to sell the quantities of laptops they are talking about for $400.

Intel's price is really too high for the OLPC target group.

RE: Can get a real laptop for $400
By TomZ on 12/6/2006 1:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
From the article: "Intel said however, that once production ramps up and enough orders are secured, the $400 entry price will drop dramatically."

RE: Can get a real laptop for $400
By Vertigo101 on 12/6/2006 2:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
The same could be said of most any fixed-spec product though.

RE: Can get a real laptop for $400
By TomZ on 12/6/2006 3:38:21 PM , Rating: 3
Of course. The difference is that the OLPC set an expectation of a $100 computer, and has not met that price point. Intel is talking about a $400 computer that will actually cost less. It's just an expectations game. Both products would probably converge on the same price if they have the same or similar specs. Intel has a slight potential advantage over OLPC cost-wise, since it also manufactures all the high-value semiconductors involved, whereas OLPC will have to buy these at market prices.

RE: Can get a real laptop for $400
By Dwezil on 12/6/2006 1:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops - mistyped. That is a 14" display.

By mpc7488 on 12/6/2006 2:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
Despite the shipping costs, OLPC group president Walter Bender said "cost $250 to ship a laptop from Shanghai to Sao Paulo."

It's not clear to me what this sentence is saying. Is Bender claiming that it costs $250 to ship a single laptop?

RE: clarification?
By creathir on 12/6/2006 2:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
No, he is saying it costs $100.
$150 for the laptop, $100 for the shipping.
- Creathir

RE: clarification?
By TomZ on 12/6/2006 2:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's BS anyway - there is no way it would cost $100 to ship an OLPC in quantity from anywhere to anywhere, unless maybe if you're shipping them to the moon.

We buy cheap consumer goods all day long that were made in China and shipped to the U.S. that are around the same size and weight as the OLPC, and in total just cost a few dollars total at the retail level.

RE: clarification?
By borowki on 12/6/2006 5:49:23 PM , Rating: 1
You forgot about import duty. Latin American countries (most developing ones, in fact) tax computer equipment very heavily. The rate could sometimes goes as high as 100%. I was looking at the Dell web site. A Latitude D520 in the US cost $781. In Brazil it's R$3300. The exchange rate is 1 to 2.1465, hence

781 * 2.1465 = 1676.4

A Brazilian has to pay nearly double. Protectionism does hurt.

RE: clarification?
By oTAL on 12/7/2006 6:36:10 AM , Rating: 3
Nope, wrong.
I read his quote somewhere else and he actually says "It DOESN'T cost..." meaning that the laptops won't have not even near the same price... another thing missing from the article is that the OLPC organization was pretty happy about having competition since they set out to stir up the market and create that kind of effect.

RE: clarification?
By jkresh on 12/6/2006 3:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
what he is saying is the price difference between his machine olpc and Intel's is 250 (actually 260) and there is no way it costs 250 to ship it from China, so his comment likely said that Intel's mentioning of shipping costs was ridiculous.

? No hard drive and no optical drive?
By Sungpooz on 12/6/06, Rating: 0
RE: ? No hard drive and no optical drive?
By TomZ on 12/6/2006 2:13:53 PM , Rating: 3
1. The flash is built-in; no need to buy flash drives

2. Software can be installed from the Internet, from USB flash keys (very cheap now), or from external CD/DVD-ROM players plugged in via USB.

3. The 7" screen is small, but that would be enough to support VGA resolution, which we all used "back in the day." You can still get a lot done with VGA resolution.

4. Any other expansion (printers, network, etc.) can be via WiFi (probably integrated) or USB - simple

RE: ? No hard drive and no optical drive?
By Darth Farter on 12/6/2006 3:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
sorry, I accidentally "worth"-ed your comment, but I hate fanbois ;) the guy you're replying to has some valid statements and you're replies stink of bias to talk it good. I hope Intel really doesn't mean to have those 3rdworld schoolkids buy USB flashkeys for software and/or external cd/dvdroms like you say as that wouldn't make any sense as these bring lots of inconveniende, and expenses with them of course...

By TomZ on 12/6/2006 3:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well the reality is that, if you want to load software on this Intel device, or the OLPC for that matter, you're going to have to use an external device like a USB-interfaced optical drive or USB key. But of course getting software updates via wireless is far more convenient.

BTW, you may detect bias, but frankly I don't care whether Intel or OLPC are successful with these products.

By swampwalk on 12/6/2006 2:14:00 PM , Rating: 1
This was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the image.

Regarding the specs, everyone else basically nailed it, they are ineffectual. I also like the idea of just furnishing computer labs and schools with current technology.

These cheap laptops are going to become a joke. Like the toy every kid is going to get for xmas but does not want. It won't be cool at all to carry one of thses things to school after the inital buzz goes away.

Everyone does not need a laptop. I don't even own a laptop.

RE: Fisher-Price
By OrSin on 12/7/2006 9:11:40 AM , Rating: 2
Stop basing the whole would on your limited experience. Who the hell cares about being cool in 2nd world countries.
If you have never been to school room in one of these countries just shut up. For the record most of these laptop are begin used to replace books not teach the kids how to hack into NASA. Books in these countries are 10 years and keep getting based down. The laptop can store 12 years worth of books easy and will save most school systems millions in just a few years time.

That is what is wrong with most Americans. They try to judge the world by thier very small narrow minded standards.
But the way I'm an American. So I do understand the ignorance I see.

By SakuraChan on 12/6/2006 2:20:07 PM , Rating: 3
Let me guess:

cpu : 45nm penryn (maybe) intel cpu
ultra low voltage, 64kb cache L1

Internal Memory : NAND Flash 1 GB(or less) integrated
inside Intel picoTX motherboard

Battery : Nokia battery pack ( 3310 )

Motherboard : Intel picoTX

By jaybuffet on 12/6/2006 4:55:09 PM , Rating: 1
Will this create more jobs for those putting these things together. I think thats a plus right there.

By creathir on 12/6/06, Rating: -1
RE: But...
By Keeir on 12/6/2006 2:11:31 PM , Rating: 3
Even more significnatly, Intel is trying to make final assembly in the large potential markets... I am sure many leaders may find it more politically adventageous to be able to support education and local job development with the same money

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