With the announcement last month of XOXO (aka XO2) Nicholas and the OLPC team have again raised the bar for the low cost laptop market which he helped create. When delivered, the $75 laptop will sure make Alan Kayes 1968 invention of a dynabook future finally come true. I am not even sure we should be talking about the XO2 as a laptop anyway because it is actually designed to be three things in one:
The XO2 is an eBook reader that can be read outdoors..............
.....its a laptop with a touchscreen keyboard..............
For an industry that did not exist when Kofi Anan launched Nicholas prototype XO at WSIS in 2005 it sure has grown up fast. Today, the low cost laptop players targeting the next one billion users for which the XO2 design has set direction include but are definetly not limited to:
The trailblazing XO1 laptop by OLPC even with all its innovation such as the sun readable screen, built-in WiFi webcam and microphone is now been seen as pretty much old hat.
Unlike its predecessor, the 7inch screen Asus EeePC 900 is a mini notebook whose price tag has taken it away from the sub $300 requirement for qualifying as low cost.
Intels 2Go classmate PC which comes from CTL retains the ruggedness of its predecessor and is now sporting a webcam and a decent battery life though some say it smacks of a cut-down laptop.
I quite liked the multi-coloured $200 Elonex One laptop with the keyboard that snaps off to leave just the screen for use as a tablet PC and a mouse device to the rear of the screen to operate it while it is a tablet.
The Everest Cloud laptop is described as a UMPC ( Ultra Mobile Portable Computer) that tries to compete with other UMPC´s that are already on the market and does so credibly to an extent.
HP’s new 2133 Mini-Note PC is its attempt to jump on the bandwagon of aiming for the educational market.