There was big fuzz in the Internet when the OLPC project started; idea of making a 100 dollar priced laptop to help children of Africa and other poor regions become closer to Internet and computer technologies was very innovative and interesting. Now it is time to announce some of its competitors. We already reviewed top 10 subnotebooks; you can read about them here, however, this one is a very different issue. It brings the low cost educational subnotebook to the UMPC side, making it even more portable. Let's look at the details.

It is currently only a concept, but it looks very promising. It is called Spark, and is maintained by Project Inkwell and Ideo designers. It can be called a UMPC rather than a laptop, all because of its very portable size - it is comparable to Sony PSP. Bright and wide color screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in, even full QWERTY keyboard and wireless mouse - all these will be parts of this device. Spark is a part of new educational project, and is made to help children younger then 12 learning. It wins in size and portability if compared to OLPC XO-1 - it can be carried in pocket easily.
Unfortunately this is only a concept for now. It is unknown, what technical parameters it will have, and how high the price will be. But if this gadget wants to be successful rival of the OLPC, it must be priced not higher than 100-150 dollars. It will most likely run on Linux or Linux-based OS to reduce cost of final device, taking in consideration its small size it may not be compatible with existing OLPC software. Time will tell how successful the ideas of Project Inkwell will be, but it is a good sign that computer manufacturers started to think about low cost educational computers.