Google makes professor's dream of $100 laptop reality

BOSTON Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:46pm EST

A neon Google logo is seen as employees work at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A neon Google logo is seen as employees work at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Google Inc began selling basic laptop computers to schools at a price of $99, meeting a price point that prominent MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte famously held out in 2005 as key to bringing computing power to the masses.

The Internet giant said on Monday that it will be offering the steep educational discount on Series 5 Chromebooks from Samsung Electronics Co through December 21. They typically retail for $399.

Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child Foundation failed to meet his ambitious target, which critics said would be impossible to meet when he set it. His XO laptop currently sell for about $200.

Still, he is widely credited with helping to launch the era of low-cost portable computing.

The creation of relatively low-cost laptops from his foundation pressured industry giants including Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc to develop inexpensive versions of their products such as the netbook.

Information on the program is available at (googleblog.blogspot.com)

(Reporting By Jim Finkle; Editing by Bernard Orr)

(This December 10 story was corrected to fix the retail price of Series 5 Chromebook)

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Comments (1)
SnoopyUSA wrote:
It’s nice that Google is doing this. But a program like this shouldn’t have to rely on heavy subsidies and/or donations. The demand is just too great for even a company the size of Google to meet.

So, why wouldn’t a low-cost tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse be just as effective? I mean there are already tablets under $100 retail, and cheap KB+mouse also exists. They can’t do a lot, but it’s a lot better to have SOME access to computing than none at all? It doesn’t hurt that we’re probably talking quantities approaching billions, either?

Dec 11, 2012 4:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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