OLPC shows off XO 3 tablet running Android or Linux
Confirms spring shipments of XO 1.75 laptop
CES 2012 One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has been showing off the first models of its XO 3 tablet at the Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The 8-inch tablet uses the 1GHz Marvell ARMADA PXA618 processor, 512MB of RAM and comes with a 1024x768-resolution LCD, or a lower cost Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display. Connectivity is via an Avastar Wi-Fi system-on-chip and the tablet can be hand-cranked for power, or there’s an optional solar cell contained in the tablet cover, and additional power supplies may be possible.
Solar cover can save wrist power
“We’re proud to introduce the XO 3.0 tablet, showcasing the design, durability and performance features that make it a natural successor for our current laptops,” said Ed McNierney, CTO of OLPC in a statement. “The XO 3.0 builds on many of the technology breakthroughs we made with the XO 1.75, including the use of the Marvell ARMADA PXA618 processor, resulting in a significant decrease in power consumption-a critical issue for students in the developing world.”
OLPC said that the tablet could be configured with either a Linux or Android operating system and will be sold exclusively to governments and aid organizations; although in the past the group has made its hardware available in Western markets in exchange for a donated system. The lowest cost tablet is expected to be around $100, although that would rise if Microsoft’s lawyers decide to extract an Android patent tax.
"Miss, we've got an email from Microsoft's lawyers!"
It is tablets like these that will be dropped by helicopter into remote villages as part of an research project by Professor Sugata Mitra into machine learning, that will test if people can teach themselves to write and use the internet without instruction. The project could revolutionize literacy programs around the world.
The Marvell processor is also being used on the new generation of XO 1.75 laptops, which the organization says will begin shipping in March. The new systems are twice as fast as previous models, but use half the power, and more than 75,000 units have already been ordered by Uruguay and Nicaragua. ®
and where are their fanbois saying that children need to be learning the Windows user interface and software because that's what they'll be using once they get out of school? What? Windows is moving to yet another user interface and software application framework? No wonder they're keeping their mouths shut this time.
If only Negroponte listened to all the people(inside OLPC and outside) who said that Microsoft on the XO was nothing but a stalling technique and they never intended to produce a viable product.
The tablet looks great and the video showing the Sugar Labs Sugar interface and applications looks great. They also put lots of effort into design again with how the connectors can or can't be covered by the protective cover and how an external battery can recharge the device.
I think the point is that Android is in one sense built around the idea of datamining the individual and profiling them in such a way that Google can use the information to sell ads.
Whether or not there's another tablet-oriented version of Linux that is as easy to support (from a hardware manufacturer perspective) and with as good a selection of software for the goals pursued by the OLPC project is for someone other than me to say...
And exactly what point would there be in advertising to "dirt-poor kids"?
Said it last time, I'll say it this time
OLPC really should be selling consumer versions of this tablet. I assume it would run Android reasonably well and its ruggedised form factor and cheap price would be attractive too. They'd have to charge more for a consumer version of course and tweak the specs / appearance a bit to keep the educational / consumer versions distinct (i.e. to stop people stealing educational models to sell on EBay). But I bet they could sell a lot of devices if they priced them for $200.
Sales would help them increase volumes and profits would subsidize the educational version so everyone would win.
What they should not do is launch some lame Buy Two Get One scheme like they did with the XO-1. OLPC pioneered the netbook form factor and watched impotently from the sidelines as others such as ASUS, Acer, HP et al profited from consumer demand for those devices.
Negroponte lost my respect four years ago
I was an active supporter of OLPC until it became clear that education wasn't Nicholas' primary objective for the project. I fear that Ivan Krstić's "Sic Transit Gloria Laptopi" blog entry is as relevant as ever.