Elonex launches £99 PC

A British company has developed a laptop which will cost just £99.

PC maker and services company Elonex is to unveil the "One" laptop at The Education Show, which is to kick off in Birmingham on 28 February.

The Linux-based laptop will offer a 3-hour battery life, Wi-Fi, a flash-based hard drive, a "hard-wearing case" and a "wireless music server", and will weigh less than 1kg.

However, the company has not released any hardware specifications for the device ahead of its launch.

The use of the Linux system is a ploy to bring down the cost of the device but was also influenced by government guidelines, suggests online reports, that encourage a "move away from the monopoly Microsoft has".

An Elonex statement suggests parallels between this machine and that developed for the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC), as well as the Asus Eee and Intel's Classmate PC, but the Elonex model looks to be the cheapest for the UK.

Elonex hopes the PC will make computer use available to more children across the UK irrespective of how much money their parents have.

It explains: "the One laptop fits in line with the goal of the [Department for Children, Schools and Families] to close the gap between those from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers".

"The One removes the cost barrier that has prevented the one-laptop-per-person, large-scale uptake of computers in the education system that has for so long been just a pipe dream", said Sam Goult, Elonex's marketing manager, in a statement last week. "Investment in digital technology is paramount to help the next generation achieve their full potential."

For every 100 laptops sold, the company will donate one of the devices to underprivileged children.