Scientific American has a review of the Simputer entitled Computers for the Third World. The review is by Fiona Harvey, a journalist with the Financial Times. The conclusion:
The Simputer may not be the best tool for bringing information to the world’s poorest nations. Because most people in developing countries have no access to fixed telephone lines, many mobile-phone operators are setting up networks in those areas. Mobile phones are cheaper than the Simputer, and the most advanced models can send text messages and access the Internet. Communities choosing between the devices may find a mobile phone more immediately attractive for keeping in touch with the outside world and conducting business.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle for the Simputer, though, is cost. Will people in developing countries be able to justify the expenditure of $250 on a device that may be helpful but is not essential? When so many communities in the Third World still lack clean drinking water and adequate medical facilities, are computers really a priority?