The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) XO hand-cranked laptop for kids recently drew a lot of controversy amongst users because it didn’t really work. Well, to be fair, the laptop part of it was fine and dandy but the actual hand crank (a major selling feature of the device which was designed with developing nations in mind) was never able to fully charge the device because it was powered by x86 AMD and VIA processors that pulled too much power. However, OLPC is set to right all of those wrongs with a new improved iteration of the portable computer – the OLPC XO 1.75.
Forsaking the previous model’s power hungry components, OLPC has equipped the XO 1.75 with Marvell’s 1GHz Armada chip. The Armada chip is able to run on much less power than the AMD and VIA processors and as a result, the new system only requires two watts of power to run it.
With the system needing much less power, the hand-cranked laptop needs much fewer turns to charge it, meaning users can juice up the device more easily and use it for longer. Of course, it will still take a long time to completely charge the device – two hours in fact. Aside from all that, the new eco-laptop has many of the same features as its predecessor including an outdoor readable PixelQi display, Flash storage, a rubber keyboard, and the Sugar OS.
There are also rumors of a tablet version of the XO, which is not surprising considering the iPad’s popularity. According to OLPC, the XO pad (not its real name) will have a durable, plastic display and will be out by 2012.
Till then, it looks like children will have to be content with the XO 1.75. At least they’ll now be able to use it.
Images © OLPC