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A research project at the MIT Media Lab has a plan for getting $100 laptops in the hands of millions of people around the world. One notable feature is a hand crank for providing power in places where electricity is undependable or unavailable.
In the design for the laptop, the power pack also functions as a handle. The system is still in the design phase, and a prototype is due Nov. 15, 2005. A preliminary schedule calls for the systems to reach the market by the end of 2006 or early 2007.
The Media Lab portable is expected to perform several roles, as laptop, handheld and e-book.
The laptop will prominently feature electronic ink capabilities, in addition to its keyboard functions.
Power modules are intended to slide into the thick hinged section of the laptop, and a carry strap doubles as a cord for plugging the system into wall outlets.