Forget The $99 Laptop… It’s Time For The $25 Desktop

Forget The $99 Laptop… It’s Time For The $25 Desktop

Several years ago, the rumor mills were churning with news of an upcoming $99 laptop. CherryPal made this a reality in late 2009 with the release of the Africa, and several other manufacturers followed. These laptops were intended to be marketed at educational institutions, particularly in developing countries. There was even an OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project established to facilitate this.  However, recent figures show the price for schools is closer to $200 per child due to upgrades and other infrastructure required.

Now, there is an organization known as Raspberry Pi aiming to create a $25 desktop. The ULPC (Ultra Low-cost Personal Computer) is about the size of a USB flash drive (shown above). It has a USB 2.0 port on one end and an HDMI port on the other. It has some pretty impressive specs for its size, including an SD/MMC card slot, a 700 MHz ARM processor, and 128 MB of RAM. There has been no word about the GPU, but it is said to support OpenGL ES 2.0, which is compatible with 1080p. It even has a small ZIF slot for adding expansion modules like a camera (shown in the picture). The system is capable of running Linux, but (at present) Windows is not supported.

It is important to note that the $25 for the ULPC is not the only expense. You’ll also need a powered USB hub (to hook up a keyboard, mouse, or any network interfaces), a keyboard, a mouse, and some sort of an HDMI-compatible viewing device. In addition, some sort of flash-based storage will be required for the OS.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.