The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has been operating for a number of years in an attempt to get every child in a developing nation their own laptop to help their education. Originally, the OLPC was exclusively delivering small notebook computers that were much like Netbooks of a few years ago. OLPC is now working with the XO Tablet and has announced that it has teamed up with Barnes & Noble.
OLPC's XO Tablet was unveiled way back in January of this year, and went up for sale on July 9. As we reported, the device was promised to be available from multiple retailers, but the slate had been exclusively available from Wal-Mart. Starting today, buyers now have additional retailer options, with the tablet showing as in-stock and shipping from both Target and Amazon.
OLPC is a tech company aims to provide cheap laptops and tablets to kids for educational purposes, especially in less-fortunate regions of the world. Their mission is actually a part of the company name: to provide one laptop per child. While they haven't changed the way kids are learning, the company is still rolling out new devices, including its latest XO tablet, due later this month.
Neonode has today signed a deal with One Laptop Per Child that will see the affordable laptops make use of its multisense technology. The next generation of the OLPC, dubbed the XO Touch, will feature a multitouch 7.5-inch display. The screen is capable of being read outdoors under bright sunlight thanks to a dual-mode option, and the display can also fold over the keyboard so that the laptop can be used as a tablet in certain scenarios.
This week a tablet has been announced by OLPC called the XO-3, one made for the education base and made to be functional in so many environments it'll make your head spin. Inside this device you'll find a Marvell ARMADA PXA618 processor, a half-gig of RAM, and an 8-inch display at 1024 x 768 resolution, complete with a solar panel and the ability to work with a crank that'll power it up, no sweat. At CES 2012 we've gotten the opportunity to take a peek at the device in an early iteration.
OLPC had already announced it was bringing along its XO-3 tablet to CES this coming week; now we know what the new education-focused slate will look like. Less slimline than the older concepts and nowhere near as space-age as the earlier dual-screen XO-2 renders, the new silicone-clad XO-3 does at least have the bonus of actually fitting inside the Marvell ARMADA PXA618 processor and half gig of RAM we're expecting.
The OLPC project are finally ready for the launch of their next XO Tablet. The XO 3.0, which has been in limbo for some time, will be shown off at CES next week. Marvell and OLPC have collaborated on previous models that are currently in the hands of over 2.4 million children in 42 countries. Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child, Edward McNierney stated the XO 3.0 is a "natural successor" for their current laptops.
Marvell and the OLPC project have already announced they plan to work together on the upcoming XO-3 slate, and now money is changing hands too. OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte has apparently confirmed to Xconomy that Marvell has pledged a $5.6m grant in return for using their chips in the new tablet.
We're still waiting to see what the OLPC team make of the Marvell Moby tablet reference platform, but until then we'll make do with the promise of dramatically improved text entry abilities on the current model. The OLPC XO-1.5 HS (where the "HS" stands for "High School") throws out the membrane keyboard and replaces it with a proper 'board, after the Uruguay government decided they wanted to roll out the netbook to their older students.
Christoph Derndorger from OLPC News managed to grab some hands-on time with the XO-1.5 HS while he was in Asución, and the feedback is good. Typing is far easier than with the membrane 'board, though OLPC has used a physical keyboard with an unusual arrow key layout; rather than the traditional T-formation, they're all lined up in a single row.
OLPC are beavering away at their Marvell-based tablet design, but that doesn't mean founder Nicholas Negroponte hasn't time to pen a few suggestions for the Indian government and their $35 tablet. In an open letter, Negroponte offers "full access to all of our technology, cost free" to the Indian team responsible for the low-cost tablet, along with the warning that they should prioritize content creation not, as on the iPad, content consumption.