Is it fate that we just reported on a round of $100 tablets headed our way later this year, or just mere coincidence? Whatever the case may be, non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child is shifting its focus from providing sub-$100 laptops to providing sub-$100 tablets.
While VIA is helping to produce a line of devices that come in at the $100-$150 range, Marvell’s teaming up with the organization to keep their tablets at a maximum price of $99.99 to help less-fortunate children and families get computing devices that will help them with their education and everyday life.
A tablet device gives a lot of benefits – both price, manufacturing, and adaptability wise – to the crowd of children that OLPC is aiming at. For starters, there are less moving parts and it’s easier and faster to manufacture tablets. Both of those points combine to drive down costs compared to laptops. The other benefit is the ability to target a single device at children and families of different languages. Thanks to the promise of a software keyboard, it’s easier to switch languages than having to manufacture an entirely different component set.
You can also throw a lot more connectivity options and sensors onto a tablet than you can a laptop, and at lower costs. Nicholas Negroponte, founder of OLPC, wants to get some version of Linux going on these tablets, but the first generation of XO 3.0 devices will most likely be using Android. They’d try to get Windows going on them, but it requires too much computing power for it to be feasible (and I’m sure it’s easier to swallow “free” than whatever it costs to license Windows).
We expect to see the device unveiled at the International CES this January.
[via Cellular News]