Chris J Powell

OLPC comes out with the 1, 2 Punch

Back in August I made mention of a concept that was being pushed out by the makers of the XO Laptop from the One Laptop Per Child Foundation (yes that same group that touted the $100 Laptop).  Well the first prototype of the XO3 Tablet is now out and I must say…I am impressed.  The original concept was for the Tablet to be ultra futuristic and be paper thin and the changes from  the original to what can be sustainably produced are quite impressive.


Early renderings of concept for the XO3 Tablet

Actual XO3 Prototype Front View
XO3 From the Side


From concept to reality it is quite impressive and in looking at some of the reviews that are being posted about the XO3 over at the OLPC site there is not only a demand for such a device…it is kinda cool too.  Before I get to the specs I figured I would share some of the quotes that I pulled from the different Sources.


International Business Times:

Steve Jobs would have surely approved.

“Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works,” said Jobs, the late co-founder and chairman of Apple.



“While devices like eReaders and current tablets are terrific literary, media and entertainment platforms, they don’t meet the needs of an educational model based on making things, versus just consuming them. Today’s learning environments require robust platforms for computation, content creation and experimentation – and all that at a very low cost,” said Dr. Nicholas Negroponte


The Sacremento Bee:

“We’re proud to introduce the XO 3.0 tablet, showcasing the design, durability and performance features that make it a natural successor for our current laptops, which have been distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages,” said Edward McNierney, Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child


Most impressive about the XO3 tablet is not the super powerful processing power or the world class HD display because the XO does not have either.  The XO3 just like the XO1.75 is designed and built for kids.  Kids in 3rd world countries who do not have access to a sustainable or reliable energy source.  The XO3 can come with a 4 Watt Solar Battery that can be simply snapped onto the device to give it an extra boost.  There is also a Hand Crank accessory that can provide the XO with 1 hours worth of charge after just 6 minutes of cranking.


For the specs this is not going to win any horse races but I have learned some things over the years when it comes to computing power and if you tone down the processing power you can more often than not extend the life of a device and in the case of the XO…this is a good thing.


  • Processor Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC (1GHz ARM6/7)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Avastar WiFi SOC
  • Front Facing Web Cam
  • 1024 x 768 8 inch Display (upgrade option is the Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display)
  • Sugar OS or Android OS
  • Price Tag $100 or less depending on Volume


Like I said, the specs are nothing to write home about but are solid and also provide a very low power option.  Now if you would like to get your hands on a copy of the Sugar OS that is unique to the XO class of OLPC computers you can head on over to the SugarLabs site and get a VirtualBox VM of it and play around.  Here is an interesting interview that I grabbed from Engadget:


Well have yourself a great day as another work week gets started.




Chris J Powell

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