updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon July 23, 2007
OLPC Laptop Final
The MIT-designed XO notebook is at last ready for production, the One Laptop Per Child project announced today. The finished system represents a significant boost to the performance originally set out for the student PC and will be better suited to the years of use the organization expects. The clock speed of the AMD Geode processor has jumped from 366MHz to 433MHz while still consuming half the power of the original, making it easier to charge using a pull-cord or a solar panel for use up to 12 hours; memory has also been doubled to 256MB of system RAM and 1GB of permanent flash storage.
The design also preserves all of the rugged features that should make the XO usable in the harshest developing world environments, the OLPC group says. The casing is shockproof for 5-foot drops and resists dust or water splashes. Its display is uniquely visible in direct sunlight and now comes with a hinge system that makes it even more flexible, according to the designers. A special eBook mode will optimize the whole system for reading and consumes less than one watt of energy in the process.
Completed XO systems are now set to ship in October, though the exact country to receive the first units is unknown. The price is set at $175 for the million-plus batches that reach education customers, though prices are expected to drop to $100 by 2009. The possibility of bringing the OLPC to Western schools and to private customers has also been raised, though a timetable and final pricing have yet to be discussed.