OLPC’s take on computing systems targeted at developing nations have forced many to re-think their notion of designing computers. After having tasted success with their ‘One Laptop Per Child’ project, OLPC has now turned their attention to test waters in the fast emerging Tablet PC segment. And for this, they have entered into a partnership with Marvell to develop a Tablet PC that has been named OLPC XO-3 in a bid to speed up the process. Though initial reports are however pointing towards a device that would be a far cry from the sci-fi tablet that it was promised to be and is more based on reality.
It was in December last when the world first got to know of the XO-3 and back then, it was conceptualized as a tablet pc with some dream features. Like it would have a super thin frame with a touchscreen display measuring 8.5 x 11 inches. The tablet will also be encased within a water resistant layer and will boast of an inductive charging system. The new tablets are touted to be based on Marvell’s Moby platform that was unveiled in March though whether it will be able to live up to the lofty goals is anybody’s guess. Well, the doubt factors has its root in the fact that the Moby platform is more conventional in its approach and might not end up delivering all that has been fancied.
What OLPC has revealed till now is that the new tablet will have the facility for video input and will have multi-touch interfaces along with USB support for, what the company claims as ‘traditional and non-traditional peripherals.’
Moby also comes with other niceties such as HDMI out, an integrated camera, compatibility with Flash, along with its ability to support operating systems like Android, WinMo and Linux. Moby too is able to deliver 1080p HD video encode/decode though it may not be a necessity for the specific purpose that the tablet has been envisaged for. On the other hand, it’s a rather longish battery life that might be called upon more along with advanced connectivity options like WiFi, Bluetooth, FM or maybe even GPS. OLPC has pegged power consumptions to be around 1 watt by the time the tablet is ready, which takes care of its intended far flung areas of operation. Also, Marvell’s OLPC XO-3 has a 1 GHz, Marvell ARMADA™ 610 application processor.
The company aims to price the tablet around the $100 ballpark and was initially expected slated for a 2012 release. But the latest that we have indicate development work has been pushed up and an all out effort is currently on to bring in the tablet this year itself.
Keep watching for developments on this as well as the latest e-reader news.
Also, the June issue of the Good E-Reader Magazine is due out soon. So make sure you pick your copy.