This week, non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) will be debuting its brand new 8-inch XO 3.0 tablet at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. OLPC, which brings technology to children in underprivileged countries, has been developing the iPad-like tablet over the last few years as a low-cost alternative to standard notebooks. The tablet, like their previous laptops, is able to provide network information to those in developing countries using just a fraction of the energy that notebooks do.

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OLPC’s XO 3.0 comes in their signature bright green protective case, and tablet operates on technology by OLPC’s partner, Marvell. The operating system employs a PXA618 ARM system-on-a-chip, and Avastar Wi-Fi technology. The screen is also readable in sunlight (Pixel Qi technology) with a 1024 x 768 display.

To power the tablets in remote areas, each has been outfitted with a solar panel cover able to generate 4 watts of power when placed in the sun for an hour — this produces enough energy to run the tablet for 2 hours. In the event of a cloudy day, or night usage, the tablet can also be powered via a manual crank. It is estimated by OLPC that six minutes of hand cranking will yield two watts of energy, or roughly enough to keep the tablet powered for an hour.

Although still in its prototype phase, the tablets are expected to cost around $100. And while OLPC’s new XO notebooks will begin shipping in March (the durable kid-sized laptops are made to withstand monsoons and sandstorms, and are made with no moving parts that could easily fail), there is no word when these tablets will be produced and distributed. This will all depend upon when agreements are made with the manufacturer.

+ One Laptop Per Child

Via PC World