The One Laptop Per Child project was conceived to provide $100 laptops to the developing world. So far, there hasn't been sufficient buy-in to "prime the pump" of manufacturing, so the laptops are more expensive than the $100 sweet spot. If/when the volume picks up, the cost to manufacture one of these things will drop, and more developing countries will be able to acquire laptops for more children.
Now, granted, a water pump might also be a good thing for many of these communities. That aside, though...
For a limited time in November, people in developed countries will be able to buy two laptops for $399 - one laptop going to the donor, one laptop going to a deserving child.
The laptop has a 433 Mhz x86-compatible CPU, 7.5" 1200x900 pixel screen, 802.11b/g/s wireless, video camera, 1 Gigabyte NAND flash, 256 Megabyte RAM. So, it's not a super powerful machine, but it's adequate to a lot of tasks.
I think I might enjoy hauling an absurdly colored laptop onto a plane. You, however, might not. If you just want to buy a laptop for a far-away child, you can do that, too.