Intel To Sell Ultra-Cheap Classmate PC To Americans

Great news, America: Intel’s ultra-cheap Classmate PC isn’t just for impoverished third-world schoolchildren anymore! The chipmaker today announced plans to sell the notebook domestically in the coming months. Intel insists its sub-notebook isn’t designed to compete with the non-profit One Laptop Per Child project, which is powered by chips from Intel’s rival, AMD, but they have aggressively moved to undercut OLPC wherever possible. The laptop will likely cost Americans less than $500.

Although the second-generation laptop is expected to cost from $250 to $350 to make, it would be priced higher for retail sale after it’s loaded with various software applications, Kwan said.

She noted that the computer’s price and features are still being hashed out between Intel and the companies considering making it, which she declined to name. Whichever company eventually manufactures the new machine might choose to make several versions, each loaded with different combinations of applications and selling for different prices.

Those options will be brought up in a meeting Intel plans to have with some computer manufacturing executives soon. “We are going to talk about the next generation features of it in the next couple of weeks,” Kwan said.

In fairness, we have an OLPC and think its open-source approach is morally and technically superior for new computer users. That said, it hangs unused in our bathroom because it’s useless compared to our other computers.

Would you consider buying the Classmate or one of its competitors for yourself or your kids? Tell us why in the comments.

Intel to offer low-cost laptop [Mercury News]
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)