XO Laptops Cost $650 Australian Dollars to Deploy


Do you still think of the XO as a "$100 laptop"? Michael Harte, the CIO of Commonwealth Bank in Australia does not. He is not under any Negropontian illusions that OLPC has a cheap laptop. He knows exactly how much it will cost to fullfil his ambition to roll out 400,000 XO computers to students in remote Australia:

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The total cost of the units and all the support infrastructure is $650 per unit - they are a very practical solution and they have an extraordinary array of rich features as well as the software that's for them that runs on the XO platform.

And that's with Australian universities developing content for the XO. At least he's seeing significant improvements in terms of educational outcomes in the schools where the machines had been deployed. I wonder when he might share those improvements?

His Commonwealth Bank funded a research study by the Australian Council for Education Research but its findings had not been made public. That's a shame since he says:

"In schools that have been deployed the numeracy and literacy rates rocket. Their learning accelerates. "This is giving the kids a reason to turn up and a bigger reason for the teachers to stay - there is a lot of extra virtue that we didn't even consider."

I'm glad that he at least considered a total cost of ownership for XO laptops.


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Very disappointing that there is no breakdown of the costs, to understand what he is including, the period of time that budget covers, and where the money is going.

Good for Wayan that there is a number to make a sensational cover. But zero info to assess the claim, or to put the knowledge to work.

$650 per unit?

I wonder if anyone has calculated how much it costs to deploy, for instance, a math textbook. And since olpc deployment calculations generally include teacher training, for math textbooks you should include the cost of training teachers to teach math.

I deployed a $20,000 car 10 years ago.

Over the last ten years its cost me $50,000 to keep it running (Fuel, Registration, Insurance, Servicing).

I certainly didn't consider the TCO when I bought it. I did like the color though...

When I see articles about the cost of deploying Laptops as Education tools I keep asking 'So Whats Your Point?'.

So what if it costs $xxxx dollars? Its more about value for money. What return do you get for the money spent?

Considering the quote from the article 'In schools that have been deployed the numeracy and literacy rates rocket', I'd say yes.

What's the big deal? Australian (i.e. first world) salaries were taken into consideration when calculating TCO. An abacus deployed in Australia would have a number in the hundreds and the same abacus deployed in China would costs much less

Australia is also rolling out 130,000 netbooks in New South Wales:

About 10,000 Lenovo ThinkPad Mini 10 netbooks would be rolled out to public schools each week - taking the total to 130,000 by mid-year, Firth said.

"We're the only state that has done a laptop model in entirety and its working really well," Firth said.

"The feedback we're getting from the ground is that its really engaging kids who might not have otherwise have been as engaged."

60,000 new devices announced.

Talking about cost, did you notice this?
"Firth said that the Government had selected a two-year warranty for the Lenovo netbooks because the cost of even extending it to a third year was more than the cost of a replacement machine." !
$650AUS for the XO may not be that bad after all... :-)

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