Daydream Believer: Negroponte Promises $75 OLPC Tablet In 2012

XO-3Once again entrepreneur Nicolas Negroponte has presented the world with a new OLPC concept that looks amazing and is designed to get everyone excited. The XO-3 tablet is thin, nearly-bezel-less, and even includes a little loop for hooking your finger through. It’s beautiful and green and… we’re not convinced it will ever exist.

Perhaps that’s a bit harsh. It’s not as though OLPC never produced a product.  They did …it just never quite lived up to its promise. The XO dual-screen netbook has yet to come to pass, though, and when Negroponte laid out the future of OLPC for Engadget, he put that particular concept as being released in 2011. The XO-3 tablet is slated for 2012 and the price aim is a low $75.

Thouhg the concept is cool and, if actually brought to market, would be something I might buy for myself, I don’t see its value in the developing world. The original XO made sense, and the dual-screen version I’m willing to be sold on. But slate tablets of this kind seem destined for entertainment purposes, not schoolwork. I can see it being useful in vertical markets in developing countries, particularly medical and aid workers.

We’ll see if the XO-3 tablet emerges in a couple of years or ends up vaporware as pretty much everyone is predicting. Perhaps, like the original XO, it will come to market but cost more than Negroponte originally stated.

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