OLPC to Unveil $100 XO 3.0 Tablet at CES, Bring Slates to Developing World

OLPC Artist's Rendering of the XO 3.0 (not final product)

The One Laptop Per Child project is still going strong in 2012 and, in addition to its tiny student-oriented XO notebooks, the organization plans to unleash its own tablet on schools in developing countries. The XO 3.0 slate, which will be shown for the first time at CES, features a 1-GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 CPU, and an 8-inch screen with either a Pixel Qi sunlight-readable panel or standard LCD.  OLPC has not yet determined exact pricing, but the unit will cost $100 or less when it ships later, chairman Nicholas Negroponte told PC World.

OLPC claims that the XO 3.0 will last for between 8 and 10 hours on a charge. Marvell told us that special circuitry allows the device to charge via solar panels or a hand crank, in addition to traditional AC power. Battery life will be longer with the low-power Pixel Qi screen.

The tablet will run a version of Linux with OLPC’s educational Sugar software. A Marvell representative told us that XO 3.0’s ARM processor could be used to run Android but that it will roll out with a different Linux flavor. There’s no word on other features such as ports, cameras, or screen resolution. The image above is an artist’s concept rendering from the OLPC site, not a photo of the actual XO 3.0, which will be shown for the first time at CES.

In addition to the XO 3.0, OLPC and Marvell announced that the latest version of its laptop, the XO 1.75 will start shipping in March, with 75,000 already headed to schools in Uruguay and Nicaragua. The XO 1.75 will use the same Marvell Armada PXA618  system-on-a-chip processor as the XO 3.0, which will use half the power of the 1-GHz Via C7-M processor on the current-generation XO 1.5 notebook.

In addition to helping students learn in school, the XO 3.0 will also be used in a study to find out how students can learn from slates. A test group of children in Tanzania, India, and Sierra Leone will have software on their tablets that will record audio and video that researchers can use to study the kids’ interactions with the goal of improving self-directed learning, Negroponte told PC World. 

Like the tablet, the XO 1.75 will run Linux with Sugar educational software. The notebook will be priced at $175, but it’s unclear whether OLPC will offer the systems to consumers as it did when it released the first-generation XO notebook in 2009.

via Marvell and PC World

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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