India unveils new, US$30 iPad-like laptop

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Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal unveils a new prototype laptop that will initially cost US$30 in New Delhi on July 22, 2010. Photograph by: STRDEL, AFP/Getty Images

India has unveiled a prototype of a US$35 basic touch-screen tablet, with a price tag 1/14th that of an iPad, the Associated Press (AP) is reporting.

India is hoping to bring the knock-off iPad into production by 2011, with the aim of putting it into the hands of students. Described as a dream project by the education minister, the low cost laptop will be available to children from the primary to university level.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said a manufacturer is being sought for the tablet, which was developed by India’s top IT colleges, according to the AP.

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The gadget, which runs the Linux operating system, is expected to be introduced to higher education institutions next year.

The government’s plan is to drop the price eventually to $20, and ultimately to $10, according to the BBC. The project is part of a government initiative which also aims to extend broadband to all of India’s 25,000 colleges and 500 universities.

India isn’t the first to work on creating cheap hardware for students in the developing world: In May, Nicholas Negroponte of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced plans to develop a basic tablet computer for $99 through his non-profit association, One Laptop per Child.


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