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Fri, May 23, 2008 - Page 10 News List

One Laptop Per Child plans US$75 new lighter model


The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project has unveiled its latest creation — a slim-line touch screen computer that it says will sell for just US$75 when it is released in two years time.

That might seem a little ambitious since the organization’s current model, the XO, which was touted for years as the US$100 laptop, currently sells for US$188.

The non-profit organization was formed to bridge the global digital divide by building low-cost laptops for students in developing countries. The project has been hampered by poor sales, sparked in part by concerns that its innovative Linux-based operating system might be a disadvantage in a Windows-dominated world.

Last week a Windows-based version of the laptop was released.

The XO 2.0, as the new laptop will be called, is smaller and lighter than the current model and is designed for students who, in some cases, must walk kilometers to and from school.

“Being small is very important,” OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte said in a statement on Wednesday. “The current one is a little too big; it’s a little too heavy.”

The XO 2.0 features a touch-screen keyboard that can double as a second display when the device is turned on its side like a book, allowing use by more than one student at a time. The second display does not add significant cost to the XO 2.0 because mass production of portable DVD players has lowered prices for display screens.

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