updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
OLPC speeds up touchscreen tablet plans
The One Laptop Per Child project team today said it was stepping up the schedule for its XO-3 tablet. The touchscreen, sub-$100 tablet is now due to have first appearance at CES 2011, two years ahead of schedule, but will shed some of its original ambitions to get to that point. It should instead be based on Marvell's Moby platform and use a 1GHz ARM processor; the design won't use an all-plastic, waterproof shell and should be thicker than the quarter inch set out earlier as a target.
The Pixel Qi 3qi display, which would give it e-paper-like qualities in bright sunlight, also isn't certain for the 2011 device.
OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte has characterized the accelerated model for Forbes as a bridge device and that the originally promised XO-3 could come out as soon as 2012. An interim upgrade to the XO-1, nicknamed XO-1.75, is still due by the end of the year and would put Marvell's ARM chip in place of the AMD Geode used so far.
The founder was confident the 2011 tablet would work well, however, and due to its processor might actually be faster than the iPad. He likes Apple's tablet -- going so far as to get a special waiver to have bought five of them -- but criticized it for not being enough of a creative device where users produce content rather than just consume it.
"[It's] lovely, but it's not a constructionist device," Negroponte told the magazine. "Ours will have cameras and a haptic [feedback] screen. It will be more open, run Flash and be more of a computer instead of a peripheral device."