If you think the Classmate PC has a Fisher Price/cartoonish look and feel, you should see the prototypes. And now you can, thanks to an exhibit in Brazil.
Much like the OLPC XO laptop, these early designs for the Classmate PC challenge the notion of what a typical laptop looks like. Sure, there’s a screen, touchpad, and keyboard on all of them. But they’re built to be rugged and to withstand use by school children in demanding environments.
The concept shown in the image above could have been used in tablet mode, thanks to a rotating screen. To see some of the other concepts, check out this article by Brazillian site Zumo.
One thing the picture sample has that I wish more computers had is (unless I’m mistaken) a jog wheel (the circle to the right up and below the keyboard). I’ve often wished for that, as a tool for modifying anything that exists in a widish but linear range — much nicer to twirl a constrained circle than to grab a slider widget with the mouse. The smaller the screen the truer this is.
Would be nice to be able to zoom in on pages in google maps with this, for instance, or scroll through a document or scan through a movie in high speed.
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