The One Laptop Per Child group had hoped to show off the first version of its new tablet at CES in January, but according to founder Nicholas Negroponte, it looks like the tablet will be about 45 days late. Instead it will make its first appearance in February.
PC World interviewed Negroponte about the project, and found that the organization is looking for the most durable materials to use for the tablet. It’s not clear at this point whether the screen will be made of glass or plastic.
OLPC has partnered with Marvell to design the tablet, and the tablet may look similar to the Marvell Moby reference design from earlier this year. OLPC is also working on a more ambitious tablet which isn’t due out until 2012. It’s that later tablet which will be known as the OLPC XO-3. The group’s current laptop is dubbed the XO Laptop.
The goal of the OLPC project is to produce durable, inexpensive computers for students in developing countries. Ultimately Negroponte hopes to bring the cost of the tablets down to about $75 per unit.
Do kids need tablets? I mean tablets that do less then a laptop? Where I’d think a tablet needs to be MORE then a OLPC to be worthwhile in this role.
Having befriended many refugees from the OLPC ranks, it’s hard for me not to believe that this is a project that has lots its way. Negroponte is still an important, relevant voice in this area, but there spirit of innovation is now gone. The original OLPC was about price. The current OLPC is about….? Oddly, this particular devuce is now focused on sourcing specific components, rather than innovating a new device. The recyclable prototype featured a few days ago was far more inline with OLPC’s original mission than this ever will be. More to the point, this device appears to be a slate rather than a tablet, the former being of questionable educational value and the later being more valuable educationally than any other computing usage scenario.
I hope the “civilian” version, too (rather than only in the anti-theft protection of kid colors ;)) actually makes it to market — the economy of scale couldn’t hurt OLPC. And I’d like to see the kind of innovations that OLPC made in small computers trickle faster into the real world. (And in any case, I hope OLPC repeats the brilliant give-one-get-one strategy — that was a great move, and I’m glad it let me get an OLPC without being in some politically favored school district, and 12 years old ;))timothy
There won’t be a “civilian” version. This has been suggested to OLPC God knows how many times but they just don’t listen.
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