Affordable and high tech. Locally made. And most important, it's aimed more to inspire and build a next generation that could be the Kingdom's problem solver.
Koompi, which means "book of knowledge" in Khmer, is the name of Cambodia first ever made laptop. Southeast Asia Globe reported that local entrepreneur Rithy Thul dreamt up the concept of the “Koompi” laptop project several years ago. He aimed to bring high-rate technology to the Cambodian market.
Rithy started his dream from Smallworld venture, a local coworking space he launched in 2011, then he began hardware-testing for the product on August 2014. The laptop that has a physical similarity to Apple's Macbook Air will be produced by Chinese manufacturer. Although he hopes that by 2020 he could assemble it in a local hardware manufacturing industry, which yet to be exist in the country.
“We wanted to build this laptop as a tool for local engineers, problem solvers and discoverers,” Rithy said. “The world needs more discoverers, more innovators – not just copycats. That is what we hope we are working toward with this product.”
The Koompi laptop will be priced at $369 the highest with under $50 in profit per laptop sold. All 8 members of Koompi team, comprised of fellow engineers, agreed to invest it back into the company. With the premier sale coming on October 10, Koompi already has 200 units of preordered laptop from more than 2,000 units planned.
The just over a kilogram light-weighted laptop will be available in a light grey and rose gold color. The buyers will be able to choose their preferred keyboard, whether it the common English one or a Khmer keyboard, which Rithy and his team have been perfecting and recommending.
“The primary goal is to help build the next generation of engineers by giving them access to this kind of technology,” he said. “They’re the ones who are going to heal us. They’re the ones who are going to discover new ways to solve problems. So that’s what our success is.”
Rithy also emphasized on the operating system, which uses Linux, an open-source and could be distributed freely. It's one of the reason the price will be affordable as they don't need to purchase Windows OS or software licenses. To see more people using Linux OS is the way Koompi team measure their success. One of their goal is to see 500 million Linux users five years from now.
It seemed Koompi will have a bright future too in the neighbor countries, as Rithy remarked that they already had potential partners in Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines expressing interest in their computer.
Well, who doesn't want a promising high tech laptop that isn't overpriced?
Source: sea-globe.com, channelnewsasia.com