Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

First Look: OLPC's XO Laptop

Filed under
OLPC

To say the $188 XO laptop produced by the One Laptop Per Child organization is not your typical laptop is an understatement. For one, the XO is a tech triumph for its low price and rugged design, and will amaze any child in a developing nation (the laptop's intended recipient) lucky enough to get one. On the other hand, anyone familiar with a Windows-based notebook and who expects a similar experience with the XO will be sorely disappointed.

The production notebook supplied by the OLPC group is chock full of impressive technological firsts. It has a power-saving display that can be viewed in direct sunlight, a laptop chassis that can withstand a monsoon or sandstorm, and innards with no moving parts (fans or disk drives) which in turn reduces potential parts failure.

Tradeoffs

Technological innovations aside, I found some harsh tradeoffs with the XO compared to today's Windows-based notebooks. First, don't expect to touch-type on the XO -- the rubberized keyboard is too small for most adults and geared toward child-sized hands. My fat fingers couldn't cope and I had to resort to hunt-and-peck typing. But anyone comparing the XO to a Windows laptop is missing the point. It's the tradeoffs that help keep the XO inexpensive, durable, and kid-friendly.

Windows it Ain't




More in Tux Machines

First open source enterprise resource planning app for Drupal unveiled

ERPAL for Service Providers is the world's first open source ERP built on Drupal, a popular content management system. Read more

Eight Key Open-Source Internet of Things Projects

Open source is key to the development of the Internet of things (IoT). Therefore, the Eclipse Foundation is taking a hard look at IoT for Java developers. In fact, the Eclipse IoT community is making it easier for Java developers to connect and manage devices in an IoT solution by delivering at JavaOne 2014 an open IoT stack for Java developers. Based on open source and open standards, the Eclipse Open IoT Stack for Java simplifies IoT development by enabling Java developers to reuse a core set of frameworks and services in their IoT solutions. In addition to the core Open IoT Stack, a set of industrial frameworks are available to accelerate the process of creating home automation and SCADA factory automation solutions. "Our goal with this is to ensure that Java developers have a free and open-source platform for building IoT solutions," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse. Read more

SMPlayer 14.9 Review – One of the Best Movie Players for Linux

In this article I will overview the main things that make SMPlayer stand out of the crowd, putting it on the top of the video playback applications list. SMPlayer is written in Qt 4.8 and uses MPlayer2 for video playback. Personally I have only words of praise for this player, which is why I decided to write this review. So let’s proceed and see what the most important features of SMPlayer are. Read more

Kano Ships Its First 18,000 Learn-To-Code Computer Kits, Fueled By $1.5M Kickstarter

Kano Computing, a startup that plays in the learn to code space by adding a step-by-step hand-holding layer atop the Raspberry Pi single-board microcomputer to make hacking around with code and learning about computational thinking child’s play, has shipped all the hardware kits in its first batch of crowdfunded orders and pre-orders. Read more