OLPC to Bring a $75 Laptop to the Market

Skeptics are busy bashing the newest idea from the One Laptop Per Child folks. Their last offering was the XO, which was clunky and childish looking. It works well for younger children, I’m sure. However, for anyone older than grade-school age, this simply isn’t an option.

OLPC is spreading images – and words – about their newest innovation – the XO-3. It isn’t targeted for release until 2012, so we should not be too skeptic at this point. We have no idea if they will be able to pull off what it is they’re attempting to do this time around. The plans call for a notebook that is thinner than an iPhone, and uses touch interface. It is purported to have every traditional feature found in a computer, save the 8.5-by-11-inch screen. Instead of a mouse and keyboard, there will be a virtual (touch) keyboard that the child can use.

The idea being OLPC is a very good one. I purchased one of these myself during the original offering. You buy a laptop for a child you know, and another one is sent free via OLPC to a child in a developing country who would otherwise likely never see a computer.

So, what do you think? Is this something that they are going to be able to pull off? Will the $75-dollar laptop become a reality sooner than we think? If so… is it going to be something that everyday computer users would be able to make use of?

3 thoughts on “OLPC to Bring a $75 Laptop to the Market”

  1. I think its a great thought and an innovative solution to help children from developing countries gain knowledge, rather than indulge in Naxalism and Terrorism! truly nice to see stuff getting more and more affordable!

  2. It is wonderful that we are willing to help those in developing countries, although I hope it is not at the expense of assisting the underprivileged in our own backyard.

  3. Bashing the XO based on its looks or performance is completely missing the point. It’s designed as a learning tool for kids in third world countries – in places where there isn’t even a consistent source of electrical power, let alone a lit, air-conditioned modern classroom with a wifi router and a computer lab next door. Its promise is not to deliver a laptop to tech geeks for under $200 – it’s to make computer learning aids financially and practically accessible to 3rd world children to help them and their communities bootstrap their way into the modern world without all the growing pains associated with industrialization (slave wages, pollution, mass conformity indoctrination, etc).

    If you want a cheap laptop go buy a used netbook off eBay. If you want a cheap laptop for your child go buy a used netbook off eBay and install Edubuntu on it (or you can even run Sugar, XO’s desktop environment, over Windows or Linux). Get an XO if you intend to develop apps on it or appreciate it for what it is – an educational tool for the 3rd world.

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