XO-2 Cancelled In Favor Of ARM-Based XO 1.75

olpc 2.0The dual touchscreen OLPC XO-2 project has been cancelled due to non-viability of the device. Since the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) foundation is looking to make a sub $200 device, they cannot fit the XO-2 into their scheme of things. They have also been facing some budget shortages and the economy has definitely not been helping matters.

The first OLPC device to come out, the original XO, had an AMD processor. The second device was the XO 1.5 that had a faster VIA processor. And now that the XO-2 has been cancelled, its replacement – the XO 1.75 will be running on an ARM processor and will look similar to the last version.

The ARM architecture also means that it will not be able to support x86 architecture requirements and hence will not be running Windows. But since they are trying to keep the costs down, they are definitely not going to benefit from a machine that can run a costly operating system like Windows. They are much better off running Linux distributions like Ubuntu and may be even an adaptation of Moblin.

Even though the XO-2 is not happening, the organization has already started planning the XO-3. According to their plans, the XO-3 will be one single sheet, made out of plastic. It will be a quarter of an inch thick and will have a full color, reflective and transmissive surface. They also want to make the device unbreakable and waterproof. If all that is not ambitious then their price for it all surely is. They want to sell this device for only $75. Which means they are again looking at sub-$100 territory like they did in the beginning. Their own estimated arrival date is 2012, which seems highly unlikely right now.

$73 Netbook Shows Up In China

sungworld-73A lot of attempts have been made to achieve what seems to be the holy grail in affordable portable computing – the $100 laptop. It started a long time back with the OLPC project, and now we know that if something like that does turn up it will be called a netbook rather than anything else.

But so far, it has proved to be quite difficult to achieve. After all, there is a limit to how much quality and performance can be compromised upon. Even the venerable OLPC is hovering somewhere around the $200 mark instead of $100. Yes, that is still a feat worth recognizing.

So in such circumstances, it is natural to be shocked by the presence of a portable computer that has not only achieved the fabled $100 mark but has actually gone below it! Yes, this feat has been achieved by a device that is currently available in Shenzen China where it is selling for the equivalent of $73.

As is evident from the price, this is not something that will be lauded for its performance. So do not be shocked to hear that this device is powered by an ARM-based VIA processor that has all of 300MHz of processing power within it. That is exactly half the processing power of the iPhone 3GS. It comes with 128MB of RAM and 1GB of storage. It is running on Windows CE (at least they kept up some quality there).

The reason these devices go for Windows CE is because it is an embedded OS and not like normal OS’ such as XP and Windows 7.

The device has an 8.6 inch screen and it is presently only available in China. There is no news of its ever venturing out of the country but even if it does, I would like to personally dissuade you from even thinking about buying it.