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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.




"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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