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Dell Aims High, MIT Targets $100 Laptop

In unveiling its "Lexus" line of PCs that are priced as high as $6,000, Dell Computer is targeting the carriage trade, while MIT's $100 hand-cranked laptop PC is designed for the other end of the economic spectrum.

In unveiling its “Lexus” line of PCs that are priced as high as $6,000, Dell Computer is targeting the carriage trade, while MIT’s $100 PC is designed for the other end of the economic spectrum.

While Michael Dell unveiled Wednesday high-end XPS machines at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City, Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of MIT’s Media Lab, was showing his low-end but functional hand-crank PC at a technology conference in Cambridge.

While both PC versions have been detailed in the past, both are getting a media boost Wednesday. The acquirers of Dell’s machines will get kid glove treatment beginning with special installation and support services as well as dedicated Internet sites. The acquirers of the $100 laptops will be pretty much on their own.

The Media Lab concept has already been embraced by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has proposed that low-priced laptops developed at the Media Lab be given to the state’s 500,000 students.

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