One Education is an Australian organization that wants to pick up where the OLPC project left off, by developing a portable, durable, and affordable computer designed for students. Earlier this year the team unveiled plans to launch a modular laptop called the Infinity, and while it’s still very much under development, the group is taking reservations from folks interested in buying an Infinity once it becomes available.

The first 1,000 people to reserve an Infinity will be able to buy one for $249 to $299 when it’s ready for purchase. You don’t actually have to pay anything to reserve an Infinity now.

infinity_02

The portable computer is actually a 2-in-1 system with a detachable screen that you can use as a tablet. Connect it to the keyboard, and you can use the system as a notebook.

So what about that whole modularity thing? Well, there are a series of different modules including a battery, camera, and core module with the processor, memory, and storage. Want to upgrade the camera or replace a broken one? Just swap it out for a new one. Want a faster processor? Pop in a new one.

infinity_01Of course, the problem with buying into a modular device is that it’s not always clear if the developers will be around long enough to actually offer upgraded modules in the future. But the Infinity is a bit more future-proof than most, because the team wants to include USB type-C connectivity that will let you basically create your own core module by plugging in a Raspberry Pi, Chrombit, or some other device to replace the mainboard.

This lets you keep using the laptop and tablet shell with up-to-date hardware even if One Education never gets around to releasing new modules.

One Education doesn’t expect to actually ship the Infinity until 2016, but the team has been working on the design, and has some 3D printed prototypes that give us an idea of what the system will look like. The design is clearly inspired by the OLPC XO laptop family, with a lot of green and white plastic, a built-in carrying handle, and rugged design.

infinity and xo
Left: Infinity / Right: XO laptop

The system is designed to feature an 8.9 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel display, a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 24GB of storage, 5MP rear and 2MP front cameras, and a capacitive, multi-touch touchscreen panel. The Infinity should initially support Android Lollipop, but One Education says support for Windows and Linux is also in the works.

The laptop weighs about 3.3 pounds and measures about 1.6 inches thick, so it’s not exactly the most compact 2-in-1 you’ll ever see. But if One Education can manage to deliver on the promise of a low-cost, modular, durable system for students, the size may be the least interesting thing about the device.

thanks Toby Boyd!

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2 replies on “One Education’s Infinity modular laptop priced at $249 and up (for early birds)”

  1. Hopefully, they don’t make the silly mistakes of OLPC again, like restricting sales to big organizations and not allowing individual purchases.

    The design is interesting but they should make the machine much more mainstream looking. The modular concept alone would make it must-have for a lot of geeks but not with this childish look. It should look like any rugged design (thicker but only tolerably). By making the look mainstream, they would immediately open up a secondary sales segment (rugged PCs for construction…etc).

    The vivid colours and Fisher-Price look was for making the machine less appealing for adult-commited theft but I don’t think that it ever served that purpose very well and limited the machine to a relatively narrow segment.

  2. I think it’d be cool to have a two-card slot in the module with the storage, and have one of the card slots be the main boot drive. That way, you can easily switch operating system even with the same hardware.
    I get that you could switch the main board component, but a module with a separate OS card slot would make switching out a little more convenient, at least for me.

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