Remember OLPC? Yes the program which kick started a cheap computing revolution. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) a program initiated by Nicholas Negropante has seen quite a few roadblocks.
The intention of OLPC is to provide computing to kids at affordable prices. Though OLPC never reached its goals, quite a few folks have followed the path to cheap computing. Indian government’s own initiative of Aakash is one such example. A $25 computer from Raspberry Pi is another such example.
Now OLPC is back with a $100 tablet which will be displayed at the CES 2012.
OLPC XO 3.0 Tablet Specifications
- 8-inch PixelQi display with 1024×768 resolution.
- Marvell Armada PXA618 Processor
- 512 MB RAM
- Android or Sugar Operating System
The operating system choice can be made by the countries. Which means OLPC will sell the tablet directly to the countries and will not be available for retail users. Good move. This makes it sound less like a scam, like what Datawind was trying to pull off.
Unlike Aakash which was initially announced to be just for students and later opened up to anybody and everybody, OLPC is making sure that its XO 3.0 tablet will reach the intended audience.
Common sense always prevails. Having a low-cost tablet itself isn’t a solution. A way to charge the tablet in a cost-effective way has to be thought out as well. OLPC has done that. OLPC XO 3.0 tablet can be charged with a hand crank or through a solar panel. The tablet which consumes 2 watt power can get 10 minutes of runtime on one minute of cranking.
A $100 Tablet looks like an achievable target without looking terribly cheap. OLPC will start production soon and would have to cut few corners to reach the $100 selling price. Let’s wait to hear more from OLPC.
Though I don’t see OLPC Tablet as an elixir for emerging economies computing needs but I see it as a more realistic one than India’s Aakash.
Via The Verge