India's $10 'Laptop' Basically a Big, Dumb Joke

After the aggressively lame "unveiling" we were all subjected to yesterday, details have finally emerged about the $10 Sakshat "laptop." It's not a laptop! Or much of anything, really.

The thing, as described by the Times of India:

A storage device containing megabytes of data info which can be accessed by a user by connecting this device to a laptop.

Oh. That description sounds an awful lot like a USB drive, observed through computer-illiterate eyes. However, the only picture available of the device shows a small white box with lots of attached cabling, indicating that there's more happening here than simple storage. You know, something exciting, like networked storage! Either way, FAIL.

This whole fiasco was compounded by a few factors: deliberate misinformation by people close to the project, the complete and utter incompetence of the Indian tech press (we still don't even have a solid idea what this thing is) and the condescending eagerness of Western news outlets to believe that such a product, which would have been dismissed as totally impossible if announced here, was inexplicably plausible because it was coming from the mysterious foreign land of India. Whatever the case, there is no $10 laptop, and there probably never will be—at least not from this project. [Times of India, photo via ITCafe]