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Bangladesh unveils $130 Android laptop

Government announces launch of four local-made laptops, with the cheapest priced at about US$130, as part of efforts to drive digital connectivity in villages.
Written by Liau Yun Qing on

The Bangladesh government has announced plans to launch a series of locally assembled, low-cost laptops running on Google Android in a bid to drive digital connectivity in villages.

According to a BBC article Wednesday, the country's prime minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the four new devices--named "Doel"--at an event held on Tuesday. State-owned telecoms company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) will produce the laptops, slated to be available from next week, which include an Android-based system, noted the report.

The Daily Star reported that the four models will be priced at Tk 10,000 (US$132.3), Tk 13,500 (US$178.6), Tk 22,000 (US$291.1) and Tk 26,000 (US$344).

TSS managing director, Mohammad Ismail, told the BBC that the laptops were a "big step toward building a digital Bangladesh". He added that when villages had access to laptops at a cheaper price, the people would be able to connect to the Internet and enjoy "lots of benefits" from this access.

However, BBC cited market observers who noted that the country's lack of network infrastructure might hinder the government's plans to digitally connect its citizens.

Last week, the India government launched its own low-cost Android tablet, priced at US$45, targeted at the education sector.

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