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XO-3 tablet to launch two years early with fewer features

updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu May 27, 2010

OLPC speeds up touchscreen tablet plans

The One Laptop Per Child project team today said it was stepping up the schedule for its XO-3 tablet. The touchscreen, sub-$100 tablet is now due to have first appearance at CES 2011, two years ahead of schedule, but will shed some of its original ambitions to get to that point. It should instead be based on Marvell's Moby platform and use a 1GHz ARM processor; the design won't use an all-plastic, waterproof shell and should be thicker than the quarter inch set out earlier as a target.

The Pixel Qi 3qi display, which would give it e-paper-like qualities in bright sunlight, also isn't certain for the 2011 device.

OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte has characterized the accelerated model for Forbes as a bridge device and that the originally promised XO-3 could come out as soon as 2012. An interim upgrade to the XO-1, nicknamed XO-1.75, is still due by the end of the year and would put Marvell's ARM chip in place of the AMD Geode used so far.

The founder was confident the 2011 tablet would work well, however, and due to its processor might actually be faster than the iPad. He likes Apple's tablet -- going so far as to get a special waiver to have bought five of them -- but criticized it for not being enough of a creative device where users produce content rather than just consume it.

"[It's] lovely, but it's not a constructionist device," Negroponte told the magazine. "Ours will have cameras and a haptic [feedback] screen. It will be more open, run Flash and be more of a computer instead of a peripheral device."

by MacNN Staff



  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah... right

    It's easier said than done to outpace everything iPad does. Show us what they got first before bragging that they are better than iPad. Prototype or 3D demo craps don't count. By the time they come out with something better than the "current" iPad, it's too late. iPad is already way ahead of the game with its new paper thin iPad.

  1. drewbeamer87

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good Luck

    It seems to me that as good of a cause as the One Laptop Per Child is, it seems like rushing the production of their tablet will significantly some of the main benefits like being able to read in bright sunlight and weight and size. I mean, if you are giving a child in Africa a tablet, how do you expect them to have a dark room to use it in on hand all of the time. I don't know, I guess I agree about the creative side of the argument against the iPad, (I would have liked to see an actual mac tablet computer as well) but I still don't see how this thing would benefit from a rush in production.

    Drew Beamer
    Graphic Designer

  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010


    If the XO Tablet looks like this ...

    I'll eat my pubic hair. On a Plate.
    I'm serious!

  1. spyintheskyuk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Surely to be a creative tool you need the creative software which is the main reason the iPad presently is mostly a consuming device. It was designed as such knowing it will take years to develop a great ecosystem of creative software and functionality to exploit it. It will be interesting to see how OLPC can seriously short cut that. Personally I expect that they will push a couple aspects for publicity but overall this will be an inferior product for productive as well as consuming media by the time it ships.

  1. facebook_Greg

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Lot of talk...

    Noble causeā€¦ but haven't they been trying to make a $100 mass production computer for 3rd world countries for like 10 years? Everyone has heard of their organization but I can't recall them every putting one design into production and ACTUALLY GIVING IT TO A CHILD! Unfortunately they are like a company that never bring a product to market.

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