I wrote recently (here) about the OLPC project's plan to begin selling the XO laptop in a special one-for-two deal: buyers pay $400 for two, receive one, and get a tax deduction for the other, which is then delivered to a child in a developing nation.
Another low-cost Linux-based laptop that you'll soon be able to buy is the Eee PC from Asus. Pricing for this machine, originally expected to start at $199, is now rumored to begin at $260 when the machine goes on sale later this month, with high-end models coming in around $400.
These prices are reasonably appropriate given the Eee PC's better performance vs. the XO.
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The low-cost Eee PCs from Asustek Computer have made headlines recently and drawn the attention of industry insiders as well as the media. But the notebook industry has generally looked down on the potential of OLPC's (one laptop per child) XO notebooks, the primary type from which the Eee PC and other varieties are derived.
Every story that crosses our desk about ultra-cheap laptops--from the $100 OLPC schoolkid special, to the $150 Medison Celebrity from Sweden, to the $200 Asus Eee (for that price, you only get one letter)--generates a tremendous amount of buzz, not to mention more than its fair share of blog posts.
Of course, getting any of these systems actually in our greedy little hands is another matter entirely.