OLPC XO-4 tablet coming in March (video)

At a glance the OLPC XO-4 looks an awful lot like the XO-1.75 notebook. It has the same 7.5 inch sunlight readable display, the same rugged design, and the same ability to twist the screen and fold it flat to read a book or perform other tablet-style activities.

What’s different is that the XO-4 is a true tablet thanks to the addition of a touchscreen display. OLPC is also sprucing up the new tablet with a 1.2 GHz Marvell PXA2128 dual-core processor.

XO-4

That’s a chip designed to offer low power consumption and long battery life — something that’s important for a tablet designed to be used in developing nations and other locations where access to electricity isn’t always a given. Like previous XO devices, the new tablet is primarily designed for students, especially youngsters in emerging markets.

So the XO-4 isn’t exactly a speed demon, but it should be a bit zippier than the last generation of XO Laptop.

Another upgrade is the wireless chip, which now supports 802.11n WiFi. Previous models topped out at slower 802.11b/g speeds.

The Xo-4 is clearly designed to take a beating, with a very thick plastic case and big plastic antennas which fold down to cover up all of the computer’s ports when they’re not in use.

The built-in handle also makes carrying the device pretty easy whether you have child-sized hands or full-sized grownup hands.

Like earlier XO laptops, the XO-4 runs Fedora Linux with the custom Sugar user interface and an emphasis on educational software. Now you just get to use those apps by tapping the screen.

According to Engadget, OLPC plans to start mass producing the XO-4 in March and will sell the tablets for about $200 per unit… if you place an order at least 10,000.

About this time last year OLPC was showing off a slate-style tablet called the XO-3. But that model was pretty much scrapped in favor of the XO-4 convertible that we’re looking at now.

  • Renee Auclair

    Too bad it’s an ARM CPU. I was looking forward to an inexpensive semi-rugged x86 CPU device with a decent-sized display that could be charged by a hand crank or solar panel.

    • jaduncan

      If you want to charge via solar you should be happy it’s an ARM.