One Laptop Per Child tablet PC to launch at CES 2011

OLPC to launch its first tablet PC device at CES 2011
OLPC to launch its first tablet PC device at CES 2011

OLPC is set to launch its new tablet PC product at CES in Las Vegas this coming January, according to the latest reports from the educational technology foundation.

The One Laptop Per Child foundation has announced a new partership with chip maker Marvell to collaborate on its new innovatively-designed touch-screen tablet for primary school kids in developing countries.

Moved by the project

"When we first met Nicholas, we were very moved by his leadership," says Dai Weili, Marvell's chief operating office. "We've got the cost structure, feature capability and scalability to support his vision for many years to come."

OLPC's new slate device will now be officially launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, priced at under than $100, almost two years ahead of the original release date plans.

The tablet will be called the XO-3, the latest iteration of the original XO-1 launched back in 2007.

The XO-3 will again be designed by Yves Behar. Some of the features that OLPC founder Nicolas Negroponte envisioned for the new OLPC XO-3 won't be ready for the model launched in January 2011 – such as all-plastic components for durability and waterproofing.

The first XO-3 will also have a 1GHz processor, not an 8GHz processor as Negroponte originally wanted for the tablet.

A stepping stone

Pixel Qi's low-power sunlight-friendly displays may also not be included in the 2011 version of the tablet. TechRadar has contacted both OLPC and Pixel Qi for further clarity on this.

"This is a stepping stone," Negroponte told Forbes. "We haven't changed our mission ... It's all still on the road map."

But Negroponte says that the intermediate tablet aimed at next year's CES should silence naysayers. "I hadn't intended this acceleration as an antidote to the criticisms, but I think it will surprise people," he says.

As for the iPad, Negroponte still thinks OLPC and Marvell can create a better machin.

"[The iPad] is lovely, but it's not a constructionist device," he says. "Ours will have cameras and a haptic screen [vibrating in response to touch]. It will be more open, run flash and be more of a computer instead of a peripheral device."

Via Forbes

Adam Hartley