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Published on May 31st, 2010 | by Babar Bhatti


$100 Tablet Computers for Developing World

It is well known that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project did not work as expected but its founder Nicholas Negroponte is on to the next big thing: $100 tablet, which he says is more intuitive and user friendly. A tablet computer for under Rs. 10,000 – is that realistic or mere wishful thinking? It is reported that the proposed tablet will run on Android OS (and later on Linux). Technology Review and Wired magazine both covered this topic and I’ll share some excerpts from there.

Technology Review writes:

One Laptop Per Child’s next computer will be based on chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd.’s Moby tablet design. Marvell announced a prototype of the device earlier this year and said it costs about $99.

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop Per Child, is optimistic his organization will be able to keep the price under $100 in part because Marvell plans to market its tablets widely to schools and health care institutions.

The quirky green and white XO laptop sold by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) to governments and organizations in countries such as Afghanistan and Uruguay for about $200, on the other hand, wasn’t meant for such a broad audience. It also had more moving parts. The physical keyboard had to be customized for students in countries that don’t use a Latin alphabet.

The new tablets will have at least one, and maybe two, video cameras. They’ll sport Wi-Fi connections to the Internet, “multi-touch” screens and have enough power to play high-definition and 3-D video. Unlike Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet, the device will also work with plug-in peripherals such as mice and keyboards.

Wired Magazine thinks that the tablet will be a super-thin version, a concept of which is shown above. I doubt that it will be that fancy.


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