The odd public relations battle among the various manufacturers of super-low-cost laptops is heating up once again, with Intel ceremoniously delivering Brazil's first Classmate PC to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (presumably it will not be his primary machine). The low-power Classmate
-- competing with OLPC's XO
and Encore's Mobilis
for a bulk contract and presumably lucrative support deals -- was part of an initial lot of 30 machines for government eggheads to play with, and will be followed by a donation of 800 units sometime next month. Unlike the $150 XO
, the Classmate is a multi-hundred dollar machine with some fairly decent specs -- for its class, at least -- as it features a Celeron M CPU, 256MB of DDR2 RAM, and 1GB of NAND flash, among other "luxuries." With this seemingly heated competition to provide cheap notebooks to the children of Brazil, it's amusing to think that along with teaching them about coding, writing, and web surfing, these little gadgets will also bring them another proud tradition of developed countries: the OS war.