Laptops

Malaysian Classmate PC Version Teaches Koran

Malaysian PC vendor FTEC System introduced a version of Intel's Classmate PC computer designed to help children read and recite verses from the Koran.

The FTEC SmartBook computer, released to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, comes bundled with Al-Tasneem's Digital Al-Qur'an software. The software includes recorded Koran verses, prayers, and the full text of the Koran in Arabic, as well as translations in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

The computer is priced at 1,399 ringgit (US$403).

Based on Intel's low-cost Atom processor, the Classmate PC is designed for children. The rugged chassis can survive being dropped and has a water-resistant keyboard, among other features intended to help the computer survive rough treatment.

Intel praised the FTEC system, saying the device gives young Malaysian children an opportunity to learn about computers while studying the Koran.

A predominantly Muslim country with a population of 25 million, Malaysia has embarked on a program to boost PC usage and broadband Internet access among its population. A particular aim of this policy is to reduce the gap that exists between the country's urban and rural areas in terms of access to computers.

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