Once upon a time, Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child project was the only group working on a low-cost ultraportable laptop. Then Intel jumped in with its Classmate PC design. But both the XO Laptop and the Classmate PC were designed for distribution in developing nations. Nobody had really planned to sell these devices in developed markets like the US and Europe until Asus came along with the Eee PC.

When Eee PC units started flying off the shelves, a ton of other computer makers decided to get in on the action. And whether the Eee PC played a role or not, Negroponte's group started offering US consumers a chance to pick up an XO through a buy one, donate one program. But the Classmate PC remained a niche product for educational markets overseas. Until now.

Reuters is reporting that Intel plans to bring the sub-$300 laptop to the US and Europe. Intel won't actually manufacture the PC. Rather, another computer maker will put the laptop together using Intel's design and Intel chips. The Classmate PC sports:

  • Intel 900MHz Mobile Processor ULV
  • Integrated graphics
  • 256 or 512MB DDR2 RAM
  • a 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen
  • 1GB to 2G of solid state flash memory
  • Linux or Windows XP operating system
  • Ethernet and 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Water-resistant keyboard
  • 6 cell battery with an estimated 4 hour battery life


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