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.
The One Laptop Per Child project has announced it will be adding touch and multitouch support to the OLPC XO-1.75, the next generation version of their convertible netbook. The first step is updating the Sugar OS to support touchscreen technology; so far, Sayamindu Dasgupta's port of the MeeGo on-screen keyboard has already been completed.
I've written in the past about the tragedy of the OLPC. Last week, there was news that the OLPC folks were moving forward with a new device, the XO-3, a new tablet initiative designed to bring a tablet to market. Forget about the fact that the XO-2 never emerged from vapor, now it's all about the XO-3. It's also not about laptops anymore it seems. The new XO-3 is a tablet because keyboards aren't a good idea (perhaps the organization needs to be called the OTPC now?). Promising the best of devices such as the Kindle and high-end tablet features combined in one, the new device will be seen at CES 2011 for $75.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and Pixel Qi have announced a cross-licensing agreement that will see the former's affordable laptops for developing nations use the latter's 3qi low-power displays. It comes as little surprise, perhaps, what with Pixel Qi founder Mary Lou Jepsen being an ex-OLPC team member; the Pixel Qi panels were always planned to head back to OLPC and reduce the energy-efficient laptops' power consumption even further.
The OLPS XO-1.5 was previously announced in 2009, and was believed to come in January 2010. It hasn’t been released yet, but has just reportedly received approval from the FCC, always a milestone to watch for.
It didn't come as much as a surprise, but the good folks working on the One Laptop Per Child Project announced that the that the OLPC XO-2 concept had been shelved and in what appears to be bowing to the hype of tablet form factors, they've announced the new XO-3. Yawn. Feels like we've been here before and you know why? It's because we have.
After announcing last month that the OLPC XO-2 concept had been abandoned in favor of a more straightforward slate-style XO-3 device, the One Laptop Per Child project have now released renders of what that tablet might look like. The work of Yves Behar, the design has an 8.5 x 11 inch touchscreen, would use inductive charging, be waterproof and cost around $100. It's also expected to combine a Pixel Qi indoor/outdoor display with plastic screen components from Plastic Logic.