Intel recently unveiled the ClassmatePC, a budget laptop computer that’s been in the works ever since Craig Barrett called the OLCP laptop (akfa. $100 Laptop) a toy. The two camps have differing opinions on what aspects of computing are most relevant to students in underdeveloped countries. Intel argues for affordability and compatibility with mainstream software.
How does the Classmate PC compare to the 2B1 [OLPC] laptop? With twice as much memory, twice as much storage capacity, and a significantly faster processor, the Classmate PC outstrips the 2B1 in terms of specs, and manages to do so for just over $100 more. Although some might say that the Classmate PC is a better value than the 2B1 given the pricing, the value of the Classmate PC’s superior specs is debatable in the context of computer-driven learning, and the higher cost really adds up when volume is taken into consideration.
Seeing this level of competition in this space is quite refreshing– two companies duking it out to design the better product. I’d like to see both survive, but with each product embodying such a different set of requirements, one should emerged as the favored platform in due time.