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Displays Education Portables

OLPC Unveils Plans For Tablets By 2012 102

adeelarshad82 writes "The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative outlined its product roadmap for the next three years, a plan that includes the release of tablet-based OLPC by 2012. During the next three years, OLPC plans on releasing two laptops, the first two years' priced around $200 and $150 respectively, before launching a tablet in 2011 for less than $100."
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OLPC Unveils Plans For Tablets By 2012

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  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:46PM (#30538672) Homepage

    Oh look, it's the obligatory "The whole of the African continent resembles the Serengeti, and everyone lives in a mud hut" comment.

    NO U

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:54PM (#30538760)

    Because I like the idea of the project(and my XO-1); but the only problem in the developing world that this proposed tablet is going to solve is thirst. They'll just be able to break open the press releases and condense the vapor inside into potable water.

    I know! The entire developing world is living in mud huts with no electricity nor running water, while at the other extreme are first world countries with all the modern conveniences. Yep, there's nothing in between those extremes.

    Really, someone should hit you with a clue-by-four.

  • by MathiasRav ( 1210872 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @05:01PM (#30538826) Journal
    I propose mmxii
  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @05:09PM (#30538906)

    Oh look, it's the obligatory "The whole of the African continent resembles the Serengeti, and everyone lives in a mud hut" comment.

    Yeah, it would probably shock most Americans to learn that there are actual cities in Africa with skyscrapers and neon lights and cell phones. They just don't see those on National Geographic specials -- no doubt because Kenyan accountants aren't as colorful as herd-following Maasai tribesmen, to say nothing of not being very effective at arousing paternalistic western feelings.

    A more constructive observation might be that creating jobs in Africa by manufacturing the damn things there would help to address the other problems that stem from poverty, to say nothing of getting around the excessive import duties that will otherwise make even $100 computers unaffordable to most Africans.

    Now, mind you, there are Africans living in utter destitution, and we should by all means remember to help them out, too, but if we have higher hopes for our African friends than leaving them waiting for the latest UN food convoy, lending a hand to help their less-deprived neighbors build a stable urban life is a good idea. I'm not sure the OLPC is the way to do it, but it's not a bad idea, and certainly more productive than carping from the sidelines.

  • by Artifex ( 18308 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @05:37PM (#30539150) Journal

    Different hardware models every year, different complete form factor when the tablet gets out... surely these people could take a page from the people who design for corporate laptop orders, and make a rugged model that simply doesn't change for 3-5 years? These poor countries have enough trouble paying for these up front without having to worry about not being able to cannibalize parts among the models when some break.

    Not to mention the possibility that the hardware user interface may change enough among the models to require some extra training for teachers of classrooms with mixed hardware.

    Oh, and will it will be harder to care for tablets, which don't have a protective cover over them when being carried around? They might be "unbreakable," but what about unscratchable?

  • by soupforare ( 542403 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @05:41PM (#30539180)
    How about we get the 1.5 and 1.75 boards/machines shipping before this absolutely insane concept gets press releases. Looking at the specs and mockups, I think Ol' Nick has completely lost it. He's doing more damage to an already ailing charity, someone needs to shut him up.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @05:42PM (#30539188) Journal

    The problem with the OLPC is the Negroponte is an ivy league moron IMHO. He could have sold it to the first world, gotten the economies of scale on his side, and used the profits to subsidize the third world sales, possibly even bringing the price down to $100 each like originally planned. But what does he do?

    He tries to "force" charity with the G1G1 program, instead of selling to the first world in a normal manner (like we don't have poor kids? WTF?) and let the EEE and other Netbooks steal any momentum he could have had, he burns and pisses off the FLOSS community, which he frankly needed more than air to get decent performance out of such a tiny machine, by going with MSFT and putting XP on the things, which BTW as someone who has used every version of every MSFT OS, including WinFlip and XP Embedded, putting MSFT anything on a flash based device is suicide because MSFT never made an OS that don't hit swap like there is no tomorrow, and has just generally burned his bridges and missed every opportunity to make the OLPC into a true "laptop for every child".

    So I hope when they go under, which with Negroponte at the helm they will, someone buys the OLPC designs and sells the OLPC to the world. Because there was some really great ideas like the mesh network, the daylight readable screen, and the crank for providing power when in BFN. But sadly it looks like Negroponte has done missed the boat and it will end up being ARM Netbooks [tomshardware.com] that end up breaking the $100 barrier and thus becoming the "laptop for any kid". Sad to see such potential wasted, but Negroponte has pretty much proven, at least to me, that he just don't have what it takes to lead the OLPC to greatness.

  • by thatkid_2002 ( 1529917 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @06:21PM (#30539498)

    I totally agree that tablets are not all they are cracked up to be (Keyboards ftw!) but in the context of the OLPC they make the most sense. They have the less parts/meterials and you have to remember that the OLPC computers are not used like standard laptops and are made to provide computing to people with minimal education and encourage interaction between the youngsters.

    They make music, draw and play games more than word processing in a very hands on fashion. Tablets are also very much like a book - they can be easily passed around amongst a group of kids - which amongst the targeted cultures is very common, they share everything because they very aware of family and community.

    I think this solution has found its' problem.

  • More photos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davide marney ( 231845 ) * <davide.marney@ne ... rg minus painter> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @06:52PM (#30539766) Journal

    over at PC World [pcworld.com]. Actually, I like the idea of the XO-3. Sure, it's totally blue-sky, but it's great to have at least one outfit taking a completely clean-slate design approach to mobile computing.

    I like the hinged-panel XO-2 and MS Courier better, however. I think it's just more practical to have one part of the screen that can tilt up into the light. That said, the ring thingy of the XO-3 is interesting, too. I hadn't really thought about the mechanics of trying to hold a panel with one hand while touching with the other.

    Remember 10/GUI [10gui.com], Clayton Miller's 10-fingered touch screen interface? Imagine a flexible 10/GUI touch pad that could be pulled out from under the XO screen. That might be interesting.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @08:48PM (#30540710)

    Exactly. But Negroponte is about PR and vapor, not producing actual solutions or products.

    So, ignoring the rest of what OLPC has delivered, the 380,000+ computers [worldbank.org] in the hands of Uruguayan students that have raised the average computer literacy of 8 year olds to the average level of 18 year olds prior to the project aren't "actual solutions or products"?

    (And, yes, while XO are used, the local project is a lot broader than just getting OLPC laptops -- which is exactly the point of the OLPC project, to enable broader projects in the countries that use it.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:50PM (#30541614)
    I live in Peru, and I work with a number of Native Communities here. That is exactly what is happening with many of the OLPC's that get passed out. They get sold for nearly nothing to buy food, clothes, shotgun shells, or pirated DVD's. I get the joke, but there's a lot of truth in your post.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.