US and Europe get Intel Classmate PC
Intel’s Classmate PC was originally designed to go up against the OLPC XO laptop as a low cost computer that will help bridge the digital divide in developing countries, but it seems as though folks living in developed countries want their share as well. Analysts have so far concluded that both Europe and the US will be receiving the Classmate pretty soon, primarily targeting the education sector. Intel has to date already run a fair number of pilot tests with the laptop in schools located throughout Texas, Oregon and California in the US. Word has it that the Intel Classmate PCs arriving in US and Europe will of the Windows variety instead of the Linux version, and will come with more advanced architecture compared to models available in developing nations.
So far, Intel has remained mum on the type of components that will be included in the US and European-bound model, along with refraining from mentioning just who the supplier(s) is/are, and the type of features thrown in. This secrecy has led some analysts to dub the model as a second generation Classmate, and if the technological jump is far enough from where the standard Classmate currently is, that could very well ring true. So far the only important morsel of information from Intel is the price – these laptops will retail between $250 and $350, translated to £12 and £175 without including the standard Britain premium. Some folks speculate a minimum retail price of £200 or more should the finally arrive on UK shores.
I find it interesting that the Asus Eee PC has fared extremely well in the developed world, while sales figures of the XO and Classmate PCs are rather disappointing where developing nations are concerned. It seems that these affordable PCs are still deemed to be too expensive in developing countries, with those living in developed areas finding these to be extremely attractive as a no-frills PC.