From credit card debt and school loans to rising gas prices and adjustable mortgages, there are plenty of reasons why consumers in the developed world can't afford a laptop. Not to mention the fact that underfunded schools and underprivileged kids also exist in the developed parts of the world. Enter the Medison Celebrity laptop. It's a $150 laptop from Swedish company Medison that's available through the Columbus, Ohio-based online reseller 2Checkout.com.
With Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC hovering around $175, and Intel's Classmate PC expected to cost more than $200, the Medison Celebrity laptop can lay claim to being the cheapest laptop in the world. And it boasts an impressive feature set for the money. For starters, it features a large, wide-screen 14-inch WXGA display and weighs a reasonable 4.8 pounds. Powering the Medison Celebrity is a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron M 370 processor and 256MB of memory. You may scoff at such a meager memory allotment considering all the reviews out there that complain whenever a PC serves up less than 1GB these days, but the Medison Celebrity doesn't have to power Vista or any other flavor of Windows. Instead, it uses Fedora Linux, which requires less muscle to run than a Windows OS and no Microsoft licensing fee. Rounding out the specs are a 40GB hard drive, an integrated Via PN800 graphics chip, and 802.11g Wi-Fi. You also get stereo speakers, three USB 2.0 ports, and a PC Card slot. Medison backs the laptop with a one-year warranty but offers little detail about the terms.
Medison takes orders in a variety of currencies, and it claims it will outfit the laptop with the appropriate keyboard. The company estimates it'll take four to six weeks to ship, but "availability of the Medison Celebrity model depends on how many orders we get per day." It also lists additional charges above the $150 price as $6.45 plus 5.5 percent "and extra" for its partner, 2Checkout.com.
Is this $150 laptop too good to be true? Could be--I've tried all morning to place an order, but I keep getting an error message before I can even enter my credit card info and address. I'll keep trying, but it looks like Medison isn't quite ready to bestow Celebrity status on anyone with an extra $150 kicking around. I'll update this post should I get my order to go through.
UPDATE: I successfully completed an order. And wouldn't you know, the $150 laptop ended up costing an even $150. Shipping was free, and no taxes or other charges were applied. I'll let you know when it arrives.