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OLPC Cost Rises To $188 Per Laptop

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the still-not-a-ton-of-money dept.

Portables 270

Arathon writes "The amazing '$100 laptop' designed by the 'One Laptop Per Child' program isn't going to make it out the door for that price. CNN reports that the laptops are now expected to cost $188 apiece when they come out later this fall. This is expected to make the program's appeal potentially much smaller, since the developers were relying on the mind-bogglingly low-price to hook governments into the concept of buying laptops for their people. OLPC's spokesman guarantees that the price won't rise further, to 'above $190'. The price differential is being blamed on raw materials costs and currency fluctuation. Is this the end of the OLPC's newsworthiness, or should we continue to hope that it will make the difference that so many have said it will?"

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Price will drop fast (5, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613237)

In 6 months it will still be a very useful machine and be a lot cheaper.

Re:Price will drop fast (-1, Troll)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613419)

The price differential is being blamed on raw materials costs and currency fluctuation.
Oh, give me a break. What utter trash.

I do realize that the original price was never intended to be $100, as referenced by the parent and noted in this article [news.com] : "We have a target of $100 by 2008, but probably it will be $135, maybe $140." Currency "fluctuation", a.k.a. inflation, may raise this by $5 tops. Currency is not to blame for the constant increase of the price ... and let's not kid ourselves, they've been raising the price since the start of the project.

It's really hard to walk this fine line of balance. More functionality for fewer schools, or less functionality for more schools? I personally would have preferred the latter, and I would have been okay with the former if they had stuck to it, but driving up hype and then making conscious decisions to fail to live up to the hype is going to cause them to blow the whole thing. You're dropping the ball, guys. Shape up.

Re:Price will drop fast (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613647)

wrong,
currency fluctuation means everything bought in foreign countries with american dollars is currently much more expensive. Perhaps noticed:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6990570.stm [bbc.co.uk]
(this is again the price of the euro, but the situation is similar for several other currencies, I do not know where OLPC buys most of their components, but I guess they have to pay more in dollars now).

Currency "fluctuation" (4, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613651)

> Currency "fluctuation", a.k.a. inflation

Currency fluctuation doesn't refer to inflation, but to the low exchange rate for dollar

> may raise this by $5 tops

The dollar has dropped 10% in value compared to second largest currency (the EURO) since the announcement of the OLPC.

Re:Currency "fluctuation" (3, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613939)

My fellow Americans, allow me to take this opportunity to encourage you to get in your last few "Canadian monopoly money" jokes while you still can. You may not get another chance.

Re:Currency "fluctuation" (1, Insightful)

mardin (976086) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613975)

The EURO market is the biggest single-currency market in the world. There are still more dollars in the world due to historical reasons, but that won't be long.

Re:Currency "fluctuation" (1)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614075)

Currency fluctuation doesn't refer to inflation, but to the low exchange rate for dollar
And the exchange rate is driven by...?

Re:Currency "fluctuation" (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614155)

A lot of factors, of which inflation may or may not be one at any given time.

Some of it is based on currency markets and speculation, trade balances, etc.

Re:Currency "fluctuation" (0, Troll)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614215)

But the currect case is because the US has worse inflation than well, pretty much everywhere except Zimbabwey it seems.

Re:Price will drop fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613689)

um, have you been watching global currency's in the last 18months? The US dollar is crashing hard. Now what that means is even if the prices aren't changing much else where, if they are trying to buy all the materials with US funds, its going to cost more. Just compare the US and Canadian dollars now! Less than 2 years ago 1 Canadian dollar got you a whole 65cents USD. Now, depending on the day, you can get up to 96cents on the dollar. That is a MASSIVE fluctuation since the start of the project. Now this isn't the greatest example because the Canadian dollar has gotten a lot stronger, while the american dollar hasn't fallen as significantly as those numbers show. Dont get me wrong the US dollar has still lost a lot of power, but not as much as my example would have you beleive. But you just cant pretend it has nothing to do with it, especially only 5 dollars... The USD has lost enough power that other currencies are challenging the USD to be the base. The EURO is a good example, as they continue to boast stability, and request consideration to be the base currency.

Oh and Currency fluctuation != inflation. A countries inflation level is a PART of their currency's effectiveness, but by no means is it the sole indicator of a currency's strength.

MOD PARENT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613819)

"REDNECK AMERICAN DUMB_ASS"

*sigh* no mod points when you need them.

Do you have any idea how ignorant and arrogant you look to ANYONE that understands US finance? Reads the paper? Lives outside the US? These are dollars, remember, the curreny of a country run into the dirt.

Re:Price will drop fast (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613913)

Currency "fluctuation", a.k.a. inflation, may raise this by $5 tops. Currency is not to blame for the constant increase of the price ... and let's not kid ourselves, they've been raising the price since the start of the project.

Currency fluctuation != inflation. Did you know the US dollar lost about 35% of its value [yahoo.com] when compared to the Canadian dollar in the past 5 years? Same happened compared to other currencies. That's what makes the US price go up -- even though it's irrelevant because the laptops are sold in other countries.

Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20614093)

I like how you talk about things you know absolutely nothing about in such an arrogant fashion. I've had currency fluctuation on the price of just one part from China make a product with a target retail price of 1000JPY shoot up to 1500JPY. From prototype where we assumed we could get it out the door at 1000 with our estimations at the time to the few months later where we put it into production the currency had moved that much. In the case of the OLPC we're talking about a lot of parts from different countries and sources, and fluctuations on each part could easily shoot the price up.

Putting all the eggs in one basket (-1, Flamebait)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613483)

They thought that with Linux they could make it for $100, but Linux wasn't good enough, so now it's $188... Oh well, live and learn.

The main problem with the OLPC, in my view, is that it's pretty nasty for the environment. Being a complete commodity, it just adds more garbage on top of heap that burdens our planet. Why wouldn't the teabaggers that do this project just refurbish old IBM laptops and change the parameters of the project a little? I guess that wouldn't be as glorious...

Re:Price will drop fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613539)

Headlines for August: "US Dollar skyrockets", and "Dollar holds strong again." in multiple international trading magazines usually doesn't mean it's less valuable. But heck I didn't have the time to read the charts.

Re:Price will drop fast (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613593)

I don't think they're exactly using top of the line hardware that comes down in price ever. A stick of 256 MB of RDRAM for my 5 year old dell is still like $55 and has been at that price for years. I'd expect it's like surplus or offbrand and pretty old and outdated stuff already. If anything they'll run out of or stop making some parts that it needs within 6 months.
Anyway, you're missing the bigger picture. What do Nigerians do when they get internet equipped computers? So either they're all gonna get rich off scamming people and buy high end Lenovos or the countries that have been working on the program will get pissed about getting 100 "help the nigerian prince transfer his money" e-mails a day and destroy them all.

Re:Price will drop fast (5, Funny)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613625)

They could start calling it the 100 pound laptop.

Re:Price will drop fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613633)

I'm an adult and am desperate for a new laptop. I currently run a pentium processor IBM thinkpad. It works! It really does! I can't watch Internet videos but I can read e-mail and connect it to devices that require serial ports access. It also runs on Windows 98 SE which is a adequate. I can make it go wireless via a USB/Ethernet connector attached to wireless adapter(it uses cardbus instead so no PCMCIA). Anyways, I wonder how long it'll be before one of these lusciously cheap laptops will fall off a truck in my neighborhood. I'd love to pay $75 or $80 for it. I can't wait. Seriously, I can't wait! Maybe I can bride a kid for one, huh?

Re:Price will drop fast (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614099)

I'd love to pay $75 or $80 for it. I can't wait. Seriously, I can't wait! Maybe I can bride a kid for one, huh?

So you are a pimp eh?

No, price will not drop, but HW will change (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613821)

In 6 months it will still be a very useful machine and be a lot cheaper.

They are already buying the least expensive parts available. Parts will not get any cheaper, but they will get better parts over time. Prices for a given part follow a U shaped curve, it starts high, comes down and hits a bottom, and then starts going up again (unless it just exits the market completely). What this project will most likely do is hop from part to part to stay at the bottom of the various curves.

God bless these children (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613241)

Day 1

Mommy, I am only 8 inches long, but I have all my organs. I love the sound of your voice. Every time I hear it, I wave my arms and legs. The sound of your heart beat is my favorite lullaby.

Day 2

Mommy, today I learned how to suck my thumb. If you could see me, you could definitely tell that I am a baby. I'm not big enough to survive outside my home though. It is so nice and warm in here.

Day 3

You know what Mommy, I'm a girl!! I hope that makes you happy. I always want you to be happy. I don't like it when you cry. You sound so sad. It makes me sad too, and I cry with you even though you can't hear me.

Day 4

Mommy, my hair is starting to grow. It is very short and fine, but I will have a lot of it. I spend a lot of my time exercising. I can turn my head and curl my fingers and toes, and stretch my arms and legs. I am becoming quite good at it too.

Day 5

You went to the doctor today. Mommy, he lied to you. He said that I'm not a baby. I am a baby Mommy, your baby. I think and feel. Mommy, what's abortion?

Day 6

I can hear that doctor again. I don't like him. He seems cold and heartless. Something is intruding my home. The doctor called it a needle. Mommy what is it? It burns! Please make him stop! I can't get away from it! Mommy!! HELP me!! No . . .

Day 7

Mommy, I am okay. I am in Jesus's arms. he is holding me. He told me about abortion. Why didn't you want me Mommy?

One more heart that was stopped. Two more eyes that will never see. Two more hands that will never touch. Two more legs that will never run. One more mouth that will never speak.

REPOST THIS IF U HATE ABORTION

Re:God bless these children (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613309)

Anyone who would willing swat a fly should be okay with aborting a fetus.

And bitches who refuse to get an abortion should not be entitled to child support. If the man has no say then he shouldn't have to bare the responsibility neither.

Re:God bless these children (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613329)

Except that the man DID have a say when he screwed the girl. His choice.

Re:God bless these children (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613431)

What the Hell is this? Mate, this is /. not fucking-morons-invent-unrealistic-mini-soap-operas.com

When a embryo, not a child, is at the stage of development where abortion is allowed it is not a thinking or feeling person. Even if it were, how did it learn all that language your little freak-show has it coming out with? Also, that stuff about Jesus: sorry he doesn't exist, he was created by the Roman Empire to control their subjects. Now stop persisting lies and piss off, you monkey's scrotum.

REPOST THIS IF U HATE TEXT-SPEAK

Re:God bless these children (2, Funny)

Satan Gave Me a Taco (867050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613509)

this is /. not fucking-morons-invent-unrealistic-mini-soap-operas.com
You seem to be somewhat confused about the nature of Slashdot.

I'M OFFENDED BY THE PARENT POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613627)

By aborting the undesired, we lower crime rate, poverty, environment problems, family breakups, etc.

Abortion is good. GO Abortion!

Imagine if Linus Torvald had be aborted... a missed opportunity during the cold war :(

-- T_A (daily post limit already reached)

Re:God bless these children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613985)

Day 1-XXX

My brain is not developed any more than another ape fetus.
But if magically I developed language skills before birth, It is likely that I have already surpased the intelligence of Sky-Daddy worshiping, science-denying Jesus Freak.

Day XXX

I was born, Mommy decided to have me. Yay.

What the fuck is this. I have 12 siblings.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

rehash (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613245)

just because someone from cnn finds out shit we all knew months ago and writes a story about it does not justify duping it here.

There's plenty of new news out there.

Re:rehash (0, Offtopic)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613277)

Thank you.

Wouldn't it be nice if the "authors" at slashdot actually read slashdot?

Re:rehash (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613963)

But then how would they find the time to roll around in all that slashvertising cash? There's only so many hours in a day. Do you have no sense of priority? Geez!

Re:rehash (3, Interesting)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614019)

I'm getting paranoid too, since the quality has dropped so much in the last few years.

Notice that complaints are all getting marked down?

We're being punished for noticing.

Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (4, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613265)

Come on now. "currency fluctuation" refers to the US dollar sinking.

That's not going to matter in Argintina, Brazil, Nigeria (well maybe there...), and so on.

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (1)

icydog (923695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613373)

It will matter if the laptops are produced in the US and certain raw materials or components have to be imported, because the American manufacturers will have to pay more USD to get the same amount of input materials.

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613429)

Right, so to counter their added costs they'll have to charge more USD, which due to the low value of the USD is the same amount of (other currency).

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (4, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613525)

It will matter if the laptops are produced in the US

Even expensive laptops are not produced in the US, and the reason is costs. In the USA it would cost you $100 per laptop to just power it up, check that it works, and put it into a box. I seriously doubt that you could squeeze into this price the large amount of manual labor that assembly of notebooks typically requires. Anyone who opened a notebook knows how complicated these things are, because they are so densely packed, and you can't really automate most of the assembly steps because they require human hands and vision and touch (like the tiny Molex connectors which must be installed with tweezers.) It's best, cost-wise, if these laptops never even come close to the USA.

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613693)

it doesn't matter - the US$ in the toilet (thank Mr Bush and his silly war, he's spending more than he has) - while people in the US buying stuff have to pay more people outside the US buying stuff from the US will pay a correspondingly smaller amount.

If this project included a large amount of US$ markup or a large US$ component cost it might make a difference but given its nature I really doubt it does

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (1)

VagaStorm (691999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613705)

Sure, for the us consumers, but the main target is not the us consumer. Other contries will get it at a lower cost since the us $ is currently unusually low. Right now, it is actually very nice to buy stuff from the us since I get about 14% discount compared to what I'm used to pay for the $, and prices hasn't gone up, at lest not on the licenses I usually by from the us :p

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613375)

Money involved in this project will be affected, although it should be in dollars briefly enough before being used to buy more parts and pay for assembly, that it probably won't have much effect. But I suspect they'll use euros, pounds, or some other currency that is more stable to transfer money from foreign governments to suppliers.

Re:Price did not rise much outside of the USA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613623)

I guess one can cherry pick the headlines. After all, why know anything about money when it's funner to speculate with imagination rather than education.

Always a chance for the price to drop... (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613269)

Just find a factory where they can make the cases out of recycled lead-laced Barbie doll heads.

Ahem. Seriously. Sure, this might cause some deals to fall through, but it's still a cheap price for a functional self-contained computer.

Also, with time you'll get learning economies and economies of scale coming into effect.

Price difference (2, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613271)

Yes, $188 is almost twice the $100 original cost. $100 was the goal, right? Even though OLPC didn't make its goal, $188 is still a ridiculously cheap laptop--no other manufacturer can match that (if they could, they'd be making it)--that will be benefiting people throughout the globe.

Re:Price difference (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613323)

Yes, $188 is almost twice the $100 original cost. $100 was the goal, right? Even though OLPC didn't make its goal, $188 is still a ridiculously cheap laptop--no other manufacturer can match that (if they could, they'd be making it)

Hehe, do you realize how deliciously ironic your post is [hothardware.com] .

And that machine I link to is actually better than the OLPC. And will sell for the same price to everyone (you'll need to pay 2x or 3x the OLPC price to get it yourself). And can run Windows (XP and less) if need be.

In fact, what OLPC proved is, that commercial entities are already doing their best. Negroponte ranted left and right how the greedy vendors could make a cheap PC but couldn't, but now his dream is vaporware and he's arrived at a pretty pedestrian sublaptop, that has its analog for the same price with the good ol' commercial vendors.

Re:Price difference (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613541)

I like how you say run Windows XP like that is a selling point

Re:Price difference (2, Insightful)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613685)

I like how you say run Windows XP like that is a selling point
Can run Windows is a selling point. Can only run Windows would not be. Luckily this thing ships with Linux.

Re:Price difference (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613553)

Capitalism wins again?

To be fair (2, Insightful)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613559)

I'm pretty sure that "pay twice the price thing" has no official basis and was just a petition someone started.

Also, while I'm certainly going to snap up an ASUS Eee - it looks like an awesome little subnotebook, especially since laptops that size are usually only available as fancy $2000 machines - I'd also buy an OLPC if I got the chance. Being cheap is about the only thing they have in common.

The ASUS Eee is light and has a tiny screen (even for a subnotebook) and a 3 hour battery life, while the OLPC is a rugged machine with sunlight-readable display and a hand charger.

Re:To be fair (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613719)

I'm pretty sure that "pay twice the price thing" has no official basis and was just a petition someone started.

No, the commercial version will have different color and will cost twice the OLPC. At the time it was supposed to cost $100, Negroponte talked about commercializing at $200.

As recent as two months ago [genevalunch.com] he announced the commercial ones will be $350, given the OLPC's price rised up to $170.

Now since it's $188, I espect the commercial version to be closer to $400.

Being cheap is about the only thing they have in common.

Jesus, yet again another deliciously ironic post. Looks like they don't have that in common, after all.

Uh huh (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613757)

At which end of the laptop price range is $400? Right. Also consider that it (supposedly) comes with spare parts to repair it and is ruggedized [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:To be fair (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613793)

The ASUS Eee is light and has a tiny screen (even for a subnotebook) and a 3 hour battery life, while the OLPC is a rugged machine with sunlight-readable display and a hand charger.

My, my what a spec spin. Let me make one myself, using the official specs of the OLPC and Eee:

OLPC RAM: 256 MB;
Eee RAM: 512 MB;

OLPC storage: 1GB;
Eee storage: 4GB;

OLPC Screen: 7.5 inch;
Eee Screen: 7 inch;

(wait a sec, so Eee has tiny 7 inch screen and OLPC has huge 7.5 inch screen, I see, I see)

Still apples and oranges (1, Troll)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613893)

Try dropping an ASUS Eee and the OLPC (unless those responsible for the latter are lying, which is certainly a possibility) and see what happens.

Also, I guess I just assumed it was bigger because all I could remember was the resolution...

OLPC:
7.5" diagonal LCD (6.0" x 4.5")
Dual mode operation: Reflective Monochrome or Transflective Colour
TFT LCD driving
1200x900, 200dpi resolution
less than 1W in colour mode, 0.2W in B&W mode
LED backlight

Eee:
7 in TFT LCD @ 800×480 (though apparently a - more expensive - larger screen model may be up to 1280×768...no details I've heard of yet, though).

Totally different purposes... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614119)

Whether the OLPC project turns out to be everything they'd hoped it would be the goals of these two machines are clearly different. One is rugged, with a hand (crank) charger. It's a bit of a geek novelty, but targeted at developing nations. Places without BestBuy's and Starbucks. The other is a inexpensive micro portable (or whatever their calling small laptops this week) which will be targeted, well, probably just about everywhere else. Maybe the OLPC should have focused on a more straight forward, low-cost portable device. But for better or worse they've designed a machine you can take out the middle of no where and use, apparently anyway.

Either way, are you sure the OLPC didn't simply compel other makers to compete? Which itself, assuming that providing technology the people who might now otherwise afford it, would be a round about way of achieving the projects goals.

Re:Price difference (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613783)

The Asus EEE has gone up $50. This was, like, 3 days ago.

Re:Price difference (3, Insightful)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613831)

I dunno, I'd say that Eee (ee?) is after a different demographic.

Does the Asus have its own manual power source, like the OLPC's crank or pedal? Nope? There goes everyone in the world without reliable electricity.

Does it have super-idiot-proof software? Not really. Heck, even I (as a fairly experienced computer-user) don't instantly understand half of OpenOffice's features. How is that gonna work for people who've (a) never used a computer before and (b) have no access to tech support?

Is it durable? Like, durable enough to make up for the fact that some potential users would have no access to any sort of computer repairs?

And so on. I'd personally prefer the Asus one, living here in the US with regular electricity, WiFi, and so on, but a whole lot of the OLPC's target audience would be using the Asuses (Asi?) as paperweights pretty quick.

Re:Price difference (1)

t_little (91171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614017)

I notice that article was from back in June. Since then, the announced prices for the Eee in various markets have almost doubled (e.g. GBP 199 instead of USD 199).

Re:Price difference (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20614029)

> "...deliciously ironic..."

(1) The ASUS Eee PC is priced at $249. That is 30%+ more expensive than the OLPC XO-1.

(2) The ASUS Eee PC *only* *exists* because Intel hates the AMD-based OLPC project. Intel created and funded a competitive reference platform, the Classmate PC, and this forms the basis for the Eee PC.

Of course, the OLPC is a non-profit social welfare program that actually achieves its goals when it forces Intel to dramatically drop prices and cut zero-profit deals with the likes of, say, Pakistan.

This is not irony. This is *accomplishment*.

And yes, I'll be buying an Eee, and thanking *Negroponte* -- not Intel -- for making it happen. :D

Re:Price difference (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20614205)

Negroponte ranted left and right how the greedy vendors could make a cheap PC but couldn't, but now his dream is vaporware and he's arrived at a pretty pedestrian sublaptop, that has its analog for the same price with the good ol' commercial vendors.
I wouldn't call something that actually exists--including technological innovations such as the special screen, mesh networking, super low-power usage, and Sugar interface--"vapourware". Yes, it's more expensive than hoped, but it's still pretty darn cheap, quite revolutionary, and as real as any solid. Vapourware? Come on! [google.com]

Re:Price difference (1)

Jussi K. Kojootti (646145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613475)

Yes, $188 is almost twice the $100 original cost.
To be fair, it's 60% more than the original estimate plus the dollar dropping like stone ("fluctuations" my ass)...

Re:Price difference (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613507)

To be fair, it's 60% more than the original estimate plus the dollar dropping like stone ("fluctuations" my ass)...

Right, but the dollar is dropping like stone for Asus as well, surely. How do you explain their price.

Re:Price difference (1)

jamarsa (796859) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614025)

as a previous poster has noted, the asus price has increased recently.

Re:Price difference (4, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614085)

ASUS=Taiwan. Where do you think the OLPC will be made? Taiwan--just like everything else! The manufacturer makes just about every other damned laptop, too. So, how, precisely, do you believe inflation of the U.S. dollar (currently 2.5%) is strongly related to third party prices from a foreign manufacturer, who is in an country with an inflation rate one fifth of that of the US? Put the facts where your mouth is.

Secondly, contrary to what you're blathering on about earlier, the ASUS EEE and the OLPC are hardly comparable. They don't target the same users or market. The OLPC is designed to be eminently durable (it's well sealed against dust and water), to last a long time on battery (it gets 2000mAh more than the OLPC to get 3 hours run time vs 5+ the OLPC offers), it has a monitor that's better suited to reading textbook style information on the computer, and is designed to have incredible wireless range, so it can serve as a mesh network node. And the ASUS recently became more expensive-$199 to $250.

You need to learn that "better" is a subjective metric when you're comparing stuff like this. Is a Cray faster at computing stuff than the computer on your desk? Absolutely--but that doesn't mean that a Cray makes a good desktop machine, any more than a desktop makes a good super computer. Each is completely unfit for the other's job. Apple and oranges.

Phooey (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613279)

I hope they fail, all it will accomplish is more nigerian scam e-mails.

ASUS Eee (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613295)

At that price, one might as well get an Asus EEE instead. Unless Asus is also raising prices...

Re:ASUS Eee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613635)

Asus is raising its prices. The cheapest is now a $249 verison without webcam, 256MB memory and 2GB flash drive. The really good ones look like they're going to start at around $400. http://www.eeeuser.com/ [eeeuser.com]

The EEE went from being a fantastic deal to expensive toy and it hasn't even been released yet. The Palm Folio is staring to look good in comparison.

It's still pretty good (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613951)

It's a tiny, fanless, silent subnotebook. The only other laptops that have these features are in the $2000-3000 range.

Re:It's still pretty good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613969)

The EEE is not fanless.

D'oh (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613993)

The EEE is not fanless.

Serves me right for just skimming. Apparently that'll be the second generation in April 2008...maybe I'll wait and get that one instead.

Re:ASUS Eee (1)

mcrh (1050542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614183)

The Palm Folio is staring to look good in comparison.
Except that the Foleo got cancelled earlier this month. I'm starting to think that the entire subnotebook class of computers is just a cruel joke perpetrated on investors and early adopters.

Re:ASUS Eee (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613873)

Wow that is a serious machine! Neat!

Only USD (5, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613315)

It's okay, it's 188 USD, not 188 in some highly valued currency.

Re:Only USD (2, Interesting)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613587)

It's $100 in 2002 dollars :)

What's the point? (0, Troll)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613339)

What's the point of providing laptops to people with no money who spend most of their time scratching around looking for food and water?
To bombard them with ads for things they have no hope of affording?
How about education instead? I know there are online institutions, but give 'em a computer and they'll go straight to something else. Prawns.
Or in the (paraphrased) words of Sam Kinnison, send them luggage, YOU LIVE IN THE DESERT! MOVE TO WHERE THE FOOD IS!

Re:What's the point? (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613769)

Errr....

Yes, with a computer they might look up crop prices, or read online articles about their vocation, get gardening hints, etc etc etc.

It's not a laptop project, it's an education project. That's why it doesn't matter that it's not a powerful laptop.

Or change the project name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613395)

0.532 Laptops Per Child

Re:Or change the project name (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613425)

0.532 Laptops Per Child

Or just cut the children in half. Worked in the Bible.
     

Re:Or change the project name (5, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613709)

What? No, you're backwards! If you cut the children in half there will be FEWER laptops per child since there will be more kids.

What you need to do is duck tape a few together. Heck, tape them together in bundles of three and you'll have the 1.5 laptops per child p.

Re:Or change the project name (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614013)

What? No, you're backwards! If you cut the children in half there will be FEWER laptops per child since there will be more kids.

Shhhh, Camelot's only a model.
     

But its only $187 on ebay! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613413)

nuf sed

YUO FAIL IT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613415)

a s*up3r-organised

Name Change in order (3, Funny)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613435)

How about the 100 pound laptop.

According to Google Calculator
188 U.S. dollars = 92.7204577 British pounds

Re:Name Change in order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613513)

So send kids Osborne Laptops?

Re:Name Change in order (1)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613521)

100 pound laptop? And I thought mine was heavy - do you work for Dell?

Re:Name Change in order (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613807)

Might as well call it The Nutcracker.

Change the parameters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613437)

How about try for the "100 British Pound" laptop?

hmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613481)

That extra $88 may in deed be the deal-breaker. Many companies rely on psychological pricing in order to lure customers into thinking that they are getting a good deal on a product. In this case, they should have touted "the $200 laptop for all". Then $188 may seem like an even better deal by comparison.

Re:hmm (1)

barl0w (516673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613565)

They should just call it $199 and use the extra $11 for other kids that definitely can't afford one. I'd buy one still for $200, unless the ASUS EEE kicks its butt. I never realized how small these laptops were though, until I saw one in person [flickr.com]

Re:hmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613599)

I wanted one the first time I saw one regardless of price. (The EEE that is.)

we've discussed this months ago (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613531)

We've discussed the price increase on slashdot before. The problem is the hardware, but not because all hardware is inherently expensive.

It's OLPC's recent goal of being operating system agnostic, rather than linux specific. We know that specially tailored linux distributions can run on very old (and very cheap) hardware, but Windows and OSX can't. If the goal is to be able to run any operating system, then the specs have to be pretty recent, and that means more expensive hardware.

The issue is that OLPC are pressured into running Windows by American and other rich Western schools that like the idea of buying a cheap PC and don't care that much if the price is $100 or $190 as a result.

$90 is 90 days pay for poor people who live on $1 a day [wikipedia.org] . In those countries, the governments will never buy massive numbers of OLPCs, and at $190 a pop they'll even buy a whole lot less of them.

Never blame the market for problems that are real. (3, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613727)

"We know that specially tailored linux distributions can run on very old (and very cheap) hardware, but Windows and OSX can't."

The OLPC has 256 MB of ram, and 1GB of flash memory. It can't run either of those operating systems. If they were trying to make it run these operating systems, they did a really poor job.

"The issue is that OLPC are pressured into running Windows by American and other rich Western schools that like the idea of buying a cheap PC and don't care that much if the price is $100 or $190 as a result."

That is speculation and it probably isn't true. I'd doubt reducing the hardware specs would make the laptop any cheaper. It just costs a certain amount to money to put a laptop together, and there's no amount of spec and feature reduction that can change that. The truth is that OLPC was largely unaware of the difficulties this kind of project would face. OLPC set an unreasonable goal for the price, and now they're coming to terms with the reality of the situation. Initially OLPC had said that the market wouldn't produce an inexpensive laptop because the profits weren't there. It turns out that the market wasn't making them because it's not possible.

Dubious Claims (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613615)

I have a hard time believing this. When I can go to a local store and buy a very decent computer, complete with monitor, for $300, I find it difficult to believe that a limited-functionality (perhaps a bit slower, etc.) laptop can't be built for $100.

I know that is a low price, but what about, just for example, all the vendors who were supposed to be behind this deal? Did they renege due to "currency fluctuations"?

This is just in... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613703)

The OLPC project has just been renamed to HLPC. "Half laptop per child".

prolly a 100 euro laptop by the end of the year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613759)

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=EURUSD=X&t=5y [yahoo.com]

oil, commodities and laptop prices remain stable unless you measure with a devaluating currency

you f4il it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613855)

lubrication. You OS. Now BSDI is LLok at the website. Mr. de an operating system obsessives and the and coders

The remaining highlights (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613875)

The biggest differences between this and some other low-power laptop (15W) is:

  1. Open source from the ground up, based on fedora core 6.
  2. Open firmware.
  3. It was going to have a hand crank to power it, which would have kept battery disposal from becoming a problem, but that idea was dropped. It's still neat in the sense that it accepts a wider voltage range than anything I've ever seen, but if the battery fails, replacing it will be a major cost for some people.
  4. Agressive power management.
  5. Includes a 640x480 video camera. (If this had a hand crank, it would have a calling as "field equipment".)
  6. No hard disk, only 1G of flash.
  7. Privacy issues?

One of the most surprising things is this, from here [laptop.org] .

As a matter of practicality and given the necessity to enhance performance and reliability while containing costs, XO is not burdened by the bloat of excess code, the "featureitis" that is responsible for much of the clumsiness, unreliability, and expense of many modern laptops. XO will start up in an instant and move briskly through its operations. We accomplish this by focusing on only those features that children need for learning.

If true, there's hope that this thing will compare favorably to its competition, which probably doesn't share this philosophy.

Left arm gone clear up to the elbow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20613987)

Yeah here comes Amos
Now Amos Moses was a Cajun
He lived by himself in the swamp
He hunted alligator for a living
He'd just knock them in the head with a stump
The Louisiana law gonna get you Amos
It ain't legal hunting alligator down in the swamp boy

Now everyone blamed his old man
For making him mean as a snake
When Amos Moses was a boy
His daddy would use him for alligator bait
Tie a rope around his neck and throw him in the swamp
Alligator man in the Louisiana bayou
About forty-five minutes south of Tippitoe Louisiana
Lived a man called Dr. Mills South and his pretty wife Hannah
They raised up a son who could eat his weight in groceries
Named him after a man of the cloth
Called him Amos Moses

Now the folks around south Louisiana
Said Amos was a hell of a man
He could trap the biggest meanest alligator
And he'd just use one hand
That's all he got left cause an alligator bit it
Left arm gone clear up to the elbow

Well the sheriff caught wind that Amos was up in the swamp
Trading alligator skins
So he snuck in the swamp gonna get the boy
But he never came out
Well I wonder where the Louisiana sheriff went to
Well you can sure get lost in the Louisiana bayou
About forty-five minutes south of Tippitoe Louisiana
Lived a cat named Dr. Mills South and his pretty wife Hannah
They raised up a son who could eat his weight in groceries
Named him after a man of the cloth
Called him Amos Moses

I know son
Make it count son
About forty-five minutes south of Tippitoe Louisiana

Dell could do it for 100 !!

If Steve Jobs ran the OLPC project... (0, Flamebait)

newscloud (1037538) | more than 6 years ago | (#20613997)

the price would be $249 ($399 if you want to be able to recharge it) and the thing would be 1" square.

Re:If Steve Jobs ran the OLPC project... (1)

Cafe Alpha (891670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614033)

Funny.

And changing the battery would require sending it back to Apple, in the hopes the wealthier children will always buy a new one when the battery wears out.

Eh? Costs risen? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614009)

So if your currency devalues. Have the costs really risen? Surely the costs are constant and the amount of value you have has fallen.
 

Obligatory (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614027)

$640.00 should be low enough for anybody.

I don't see the problem (1)

LanceUppercut (766964) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614061)

The dollar is turning into toilet paper much faster than the price of OLPC rises. Foreign governments should not have any problem with the rise of the price. Quite the opposite, it would be very strange if it remained steady.

Name change might be in order (2, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20614179)

If they're going to keep straying from their original vision, they should at least have the decency to call it "No Laptop Left Behind."
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