$100 Laptop Project goes to U.S. Schools

CAMBRIDGE - A project that aims to distribute low-priced laptops with string pulleys to the world's poorest children may have a new marketplace: U.S. schools.

The nonprofit "One Laptop per Child" project said on Thursday it might sell versions of its kid-friendly laptops in the United States, reversing its earlier position of only distributing them to the poorest country.

"We can't ignore the United States. ... We are looking at it very seriously," Nicholas Negroponte, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology academic who founded the project, told analysts and reporters.

Once notorious as the $100 laptop, the lime-green-and-white devices are inching up in price. In February, the laptop projected said they would sell for $150 each. Negroponte now puts their price tag at $176 apiece.

They would go at a upper price to U.S. schools, he said, because more income are invested in American education than in developing nations, even in the poorest U.S. states.

The laptop features a string pulley to charge its battery, a keyboard that switches between languages, a digital video camera, wireless connectivity and Linux open-source operating software customized for remote regions.