Three New OLPC XO Models Announced, XO 3.0 Aims For Sub-$100 Price

When folks begin to look back at all that went down during this decade, One Laptop Per Child will be impossible to miss as a real standout moment. It's somewhat difficult to believe that the OLPC XO laptop is years old now, and while it has largely fallen out of the limelight due to its higher than expected cost, it is still being shipped to school children all over the globe.

With anything, particularly in the consumer electronics realm, comes progress. Even for OLPC. This week, the nonprofit organization has unveiled an all new concept that could very well put it back on the mainstream map. The new design has a familiar mantra: it's create to "deliver robust laptop performance and innovative design for use in the most remote, poor and rural communities and at the lowest power and cost in the industry."

In fact, a grand total of 3 new machines are mentioned, all of which are detailed below. The good news is that at least one of them (the XO 3.0) will reportedly sport a price tag of under $100, and while we're understandably skeptical given the claims/reality of the original, there very well may parts that cheap in 2012 to make this one prove true.

The new versions of the XO laptop will be as follows:

  • XO 1.5 – The XO 1.5 is the same industrial design as the XO 1.0. Based on a VIA processor (replacing AMD), it will provide 2x the speed, 4x DRAM memory and 4x FLASH memory. It will run both the Linux and Windows operating systems. XO 1.5 will be available in January 2010 at about $200 per unit. The actual price floats in accordance with spot markets, particularly for those of DRAM and FLASH.
  • XO 1.75 – The XO 1.75, to be available in early 2011, will be essentially the same industrial design but rubber-bumpered on the outside and in the inside will be an 8.9”, touch-sensitive display. The XO 1.75 will be based on an ARM processor from Marvell that will enable 2x the speed at 1/4 the power and is targeted at $150 or less. This ARM-based system will complement the x86-based XO 1.5, which will remain in production, giving deployments a choice of processor platform."
  • XO 3.0 – The XO 3.0 is a totally different approach, to be available in 2012 and at a target price well below $100. It will feature a new design using a single sheet of flexible plastic and will be unbreakable and without holes in it. The XO 3.0 will leapfrog the previously announced (May 2008) XO 2.0, a two-page approach that will not be continued. The inner workings of 3.0 will come from the more modest 1.75.

Tags:  Notebook, laptop, OLPC, xo