The Circuit City deal includes an all-in-one printer, a wireless Wi-Fi router, and Norton Internet security software. The Compaq Presario laptop has an 80-Gbyte hard drive and features Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system.
A few weeks ago, Best Buy was offering a full-featured Gateway laptop for $299. While the $299 price is still rare and may represent temporary promotions, the price of laptops has been relentlessly dropping; the lowest laptop prices a year ago were in the $500 range.
Wal-Mart has featured low-priced desktop computers without monitors in recent months.
As prices of PC commodity laptops have dropped, the cost and price of a One Laptop Per Child laptop has inched up. If the pricing trajectories of both commodity-standard laptops and OLPC laptops continue their course, commodity laptops will be cheaper than OLPC laptops, possibly in the next year.
The OLPC machine is different from commodity PCs and its design has been hailed for unique features such as its sun-friendly display and its power crank capability.
Customers can buy an OLPC computer for $188 in a promotion. Under OLPC's "Give One, Get One", which has been extended to the end of the year, a purchaser will receive one OLPC computer and another laptop will be given to a child in a developing country.