Though they've been bouncing the idea of a $100 laptop around for a while ($100 Laptop - No Child Left Behind), it looks like it's finally becoming a reality. The lime green laptop is about the size of a text book and with a hand crank to allow it to operate without electricity. Designed at the MIT Media Lab, the project mainly aimed at developing countries where a calculator and Internet access can mean the difference between starvation and a good year. The goal is to allow these kids and even adults to actually own the laptops, though governments or charities will pay for them.
Looks like Brazil, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria are the choices for the first wave of laptops early next year and each is slated to buy at least a million of them. Though not in production yet, one unnamed company has offered to build them fro $110 each and four others are considering joining the effort. They operate at about half the speed of store-bought laptops and will run on an open-source OS. The screen is actually from a portable DVD player and can be viewed in either color or black and white.