Uh, Thanks, Uncle Nick–That’s Almost a MacBook. Did You Save the Receipt?
The XO Laptop (pictured above) wasn’t engineered with affluent children or the tech-industry subculture in mind, but they’re getting a chance to own one nonetheless thanks to a new program from OLPC–the One Laptop Per Child project. Under “Give 1 Get 1,” Americans and Canadians can purchase two of the pared-down laptops for $399: one for themselves and one to be shipped to a child in a developing nation. The program will run for two weeks, with orders accepted from Nov. 12 to Nov. 26.
“Give 1 Get 1″ is something of an about-face for the OLPC and its co-founder, Nicholas Negroponte. Originally, the organization decided against selling the the so-called “$100 laptop” in the states. It worried the device would appear anemic next to entry-level laptops from Apple, Hewlett-Packard and others, and it feared selling it stateside would distract the organization from its original goal: to bring computing to the developing world’s children. But with early orders for the device falling quite a bit short of expectations, it reconsidered. “There’s a much bigger gulf between a handshake with a head of state and a real check coming out of the treasury,” Negroponte told the Boston Globe. “You could argue I could have been more realistic in the beginning, but if I had, I would never have done this.”