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The Negroponte machine
Several partners, including Advanced Micro Devices and Red Hat, have lined up behind this $100 machine from Nicholas Negroponte and the MIT Media Center. But to hit that low price, the machine's makers have to leave out all but the basics. The unit comes with only a 500MHz processor and 500MB of local storage (in the form of flash memory--the laptops won't include drives). And the units don't sport mainstream applications.
The thin client
Because they rely on a server to store and process data, and thus don't need fast processors or a hard drive, thin clients can be produced for about $100, including a used monitor. The downside is that if the server dies, so do all the machines that are connected to it.