It’s probably not going to happen. Let’s be honest about that. As we’ve previously mentioned, Nicholas Negroponte’s newest vision for a next-generation educational computer isn’t a laptop, it’s a touchscreen tablet that will use less than 1W of power and cost $75. That already seemed pretty unrealistic, but now that I’ve seen the concept images Forbes published today, I’m even more skeptical.

But that doesn’t mean that XO-3 project is completely doomed. While the original XO Laptop never reached the promised price of of a $100 laptop, it did show that you could build a usable mini-laptop for extraordinarily low prices and the project inadvertently sparked the netbook revolution.

It’s possible that by establishing a 2012 goal for a $75, dead-simple tablet, Negroponte and friends could again inspire mainstream PC makers to change the way they think about low cost computers. In fact, the entire project is going to be open source, including the hardware design. As Negroponte tells Forbes, the OLPC group doesn’t even need to be the ones to build the XO-3 to consider the project a success. They just “need to threaten to build it.”

The latest plans for the Xo-3 involve a durable, plastic tablet that has very few controls aside from the touchscreen display. Basically you’d see a huge screen surrounded by a thin green plastic frame. It would be made of durable plastic, feature a waterproof design, and a high power processor. It would be thinner than an iPhone and you might be able to use an inductive charging device to charge the battery without a cord. The laptop will likely use a Pixel Qi display that can function both as a full color high resolution display and a high contrast, or in a high contrast, low power ePaper mode for reading eBooks.

via Gizmodo

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8 replies on “OLPC XO-3 tablet concept in pictures”

  1. Why is it intended to be 8½ by 11 inches? That’s the paper size used primarily (if not exclusively) in the USA. True, A4 is narrower and taller; perhaps that’s the reason?

    Interesting how a misspelling (and a quite-unlikely clock frequency) has propagated in the news stories almost without question — “8 gigaherz processor”. first, it’s “gigahertz”, and “GHz” is enough, as well as universally understood. However, I really doubt that any processor, other than one made by Hypres (and running in a cryogenic environment, as well as probably being frightfully costly) could be made to run at 8 GHz.

    Nevertheless, I love the design, and hope it will actually come into existence.

    1. Alas, the current EFFECT of this project, has seen success in many countries so far, AND many other hardware designs THAT are used by STUDENTS AT ALL LEVELS are actually a reality.

      What is missing in this eduction using a computer scene is unification. For example: why not have all the education efforts JOIN as one, K12LTSP, OLPC, Edubook, and many others SHOULD have one central non-profit group that helps with software direction and funding, and BUILDS roots that involve TEACHERS into the planning of our future eduction system. There is an Ed-Pod concept that involves all these directions, and EVO (google it) where interactive instruction can be a reality world wide… where schools then in even developed countries can use this “cost effective 3rd world” tool to reduce “the big centralized big school directions” where transportation costs go up… transportation can be on a wire… we are after-all, talking about minds and learning. And a video, or electronic screen either from a production, software, real time voice and video session, etc can all happen now over a wire (school buses use too much energy, and cause pollution, maybe we can head back to the one room school house, and do it world wide via the web).

  2. I’ve become cynical of the OLPC concept. My first computer was a Casio FX-7000G. I learned a tonne from that thing. Even the original OLPC was unnecessarily flashy for its purpose.
    thé ceylon

  3. There are $80 netbooks now. Only those have 128 MB Ram, and 2GB flash as the drive. RAM and SSDs need to drop in price (however, it is not impossible for someone in the “cell phone and netbook dual market” to maximize their market share, reduce price, use LINUX and meet that price of the OLPC XO-3 concept). The Pixel Qi tech, not just the screen, but turning off the CPU all the time, and maybe doing something to shut down the wireless (where transmitter can shut down maybe) will mean that it can use a smaller battery, and have a longer use time between charges.

  4. OLPC made XO-1, Pixel Qi low power low cost sunlight readable LCD screens, WiFi Mesh networking, DCON motherboard instant standby/resume, Linux on consumer oriented laptops, advanced anti-stealing security platform, millions of kids in the developing countries have it and the whole Netbook revolution happened because of it. They have a track record of actually realizing on complete amazing revolutionary technologies. It’s the main people from the MIT doing it!

    XO 1.5 is coming next month based on the VIA processor.

    XO 1.75 will come in the next few months based on ARM processors.

    1. The netbook revolution happened because Negroponte COULDN’T make it happened. OLPC dragged its feet, got in fights with the computer industry, and bitched about how unfair the world was instead of moving forward. And, the net result was manufactures in Taiwan just got tired of waiting and put their own devices out.

      The netbook revolution came about because Negroponte failed. I dare anyone who owns a netbook to trade it in for a XO and then tell me Negroponte succeeded? In the spirit of Christmas I ‘double dog dare you’ to make the trade.

      1. OLPC is 100% a success. The whole point was to force the worldwide laptop industry into making cheaper lower power less bloated laptops. This is exactly what has happened. Also, 1.4 million kids use the XO-1 laptop everyday, it consumes 10x less power than your netbook, costs half the price, is sunlight readable, works using WiFi meshing and is the first laptop to have popularized Linux on laptops and it basically kick-started Linux on consumer laptops.

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