Sub $100 Tablet on Tap from OLPC by 2012

By  |  Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) officials on Tuesday outlined an ambitious program to bring a tablet PC to market within two years at a price of less than $100. This would be combined with efforts to upgrade and bring down the cost of the current XO laptop which has become the effort’s signature product.

An upgrade to the current model is due at a $200 price point next month. This will be followed by a touchscreen version of the XO laptop in 2011 at a price point of around $150, and finally the tablet which would make its way to market the following year.The tablet would be made of flexible plastic and would be a drastic departure from the current design of the laptop, officials say.

OLPC has struggled recently as the company was forced to lay off 50 percent of its workforce earlier this year. This likely had a lot to do with the worsening economy, which hit the tech sector fairly hard. But the initiative is trudging on, determined to complete its mission of providing technology to children in the developing world. Admirable, but of course a bit costly.

I for one am super curious as to how these folks are going to pull this off. I know you can’t tell much from pictures, but that looks like an awfully advanced device. How are you going to be able to build something like that for $100? I understand that advancements in technology these days are moving faster and faster, but we don’t even have products like this available to the general public right now, much less underprivileged kids around the world.

Hopefully this isn’t going to end up as vaporware, but right now it sure looks like it.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. pond Says:

    A couple more bits about this: priced at $75, with an 8GHz cpu, drawing 5 watts (total) made of plastic, indestructible…

    Nicholas Negroponte, we must all remember, is not an engineer. Nor is he an especially able organizer or leader, judging by how his past projects all seem to end in acrimonious breakups. He is, rather, a great showman, a PT Barnum for the internet age, a man who knows how to get publicity.

    He himself calls these goals ‘aspirational.’ As much as Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss might call for, they have no relationship whatsoever with reality now or in 2012.

    Yes, Mr Negroponte, I’d like one of those, and could I get my $25 jetpack on the side, please? Thank you very much.

    I’m just amazed anybody in the press pays attention anymore.

    Negroponte must be the anti-Steve Jobs: where Jobs conceals everything until he has a finished product ready to ship, and hates any details leaking, Negroponte is all leaks, all announcements … and no products.

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    […] XO laptop never reached its $100 target price, and OLPC is still trying to release its own¬†sub-$100 tablet by […]