Wednesday, December 23, 2009

XO-3 concept tablet for 2012

Still have a bit of faith left for the OLPC project? Good, you're gonna need it: designer Yves Behar has unveiled his latest concept design for the now-aiming-for-$75 vision, and it's all screen. Keeping with the newfound trend toward tablets, the XO-3 is an 8.5 x 11 touchscreen, coupled with a little folding ring in the corner for grip and a camera in the back. To keep things minimal the plan is to use Palm Pre-style induction charging, and less than a watt of power to keep an "8 gigaherz [sic]" (800MHz?) processor and a Pixel Qi screen powered. At half the thickness of an iPhone, this vision is obviously banking heavily on presumed technology advances by 2012 (the projected release date), but it's not too hard to see somebody making this form factor happen by then-ish. Nick Neg isn't all hubris, however: "Sure, if I were a commercial entity coming to you for investment, and I'd made the projections I had in the past, you wouldn't invest again, but we're not a commercial operation. If we only achieve half of what we're setting out to do, it could have very big consequences."

Update: According to our man Nicholas Negroponte, who took time out of his busy schedule to email us with the info, there are two other variations of the XO headed our way before we see the XO-3. Nick says we'll see the XO-1.5 appear in January for around $200 -- an update to the current version. As we'd heard before, the 1.5 iteration will swap a VIA CPU for the current AMD one, and will double the speed as well as quadruple both the DRAM and Flash memory of the current version. Furthermore, he says that in early 2011 the XO-1.75 (replacing that psychotically awesome 2.0 dual screen model) will make its appearance, and will sport rubber bumpers on the outer casing, an 8.9-inch touchscreen display inside, and will run atop a Marvell ARM processor which will enable two times the speed at a quarter of the power usage. That version will sell for somewhere in the $175 range. Then, no 2.0... straight on to the XO-3.0!

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