olpc3_11Over the last few days, reports and pictures have surfaced showcasing the new OLPC XO-3 tablet that will be debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The 8-inch tablet will cost under $100 for its target market.

In terms of what’s under the hood, The Verge reports:

In terms of raw specs, the XO 3.0 has an 8-inch, 1024 x 768-resolution PixelQi display, which can be read indoors and out, a Marvell Armada PXA618 processor, 512MB of RAM, and will be configurable with either Android or Sugar operating systems. Sugar is OLPC’s own Linux operating system, which was designed specifically for kids. "We designed the XO-3 with an open firmware and with open BIOs so it is easy to support multiple operating systems. Countries can choose between Android and Sugar," [OLPC CEO Ed] McNierney said.

The specs seem comparable to the Kindle Fire, which has a 1024×600 7” screen and also boasts 512 MB of RAM. And if OLPC cranks up its “Get One, Give One” program, the price to consumers would be about the same as the Kindle Fire, too.

In terms of design, the tablet is significantly thicker than the clipboard-like concept photos, and doesn’t have the concept’s finger-ring on the corner either. (Not surprising; it looked to me like it was just waiting to break off and leave sharp edges under any kind of physical abuse.) It has a silicone cover that should keep it safe in most conditions.

Here’s hoping the device does get offered to the public. It might make a nice alternative to the Fire for tablet-interested folks on a budget.


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