updated 04:20 pm EST, Tue December 22, 2009
OLPC XO-3 may get camera, wireless power
(Updated with better photos, interim XO details) The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project today provided a deeper glimpse into its XO-3 tablet, including concept shots and more features. The roughly letter-sized computer will now hopefully include a camera on the back to record video in a more intuitive way than the XO-1. The developers also clarify that founder Nicholas Negroponte's desire for "no holes" would involve wireless power.
Other unique touches would involve a plastic backplane for the LCD to prevent it easily shattering as well as a ring on one corner to either provide a better grip or to hang the tablet when it's not in use. The ring could collapse on to the back when not in use and would be held there by magnets.
It's already known to use a Pixel Qi display that would be readable in bright daylight and switch to a low-power mode. It will also use an ARM processor and should be both waterproof and about a quarter-inch thick.
The XO-3 remains a long-term target for the OLPC team and isn't scheduled to ship until 2012. In the interim, the company plans to update the current XO with the "XO-1.5," an upgrade with a twice as fast VIA processor, four times the RAM and flash memory, and a price tag of about $200 when it ships in January. A longer-term upgrade for 2011, the "XO-1.75," will switch to ARM with similar speed but a quarter the power consumption and a price of $150 or less.
Current tablet hardware, such as most Windows Tablet PCs and the yet-to-ship JooJoo, often cost several hundred dollars and usually aren't toughened for use outdoors or in the developing world. [via Forbes]