There’s been a lot of evidence mounting lately that OLPC has been steadily, inexorably losing its mind. At OLPC’s Global Country workshop today, founder Nick Negroponte revealed the prospective design of the XO laptop Mark II, cutely deemed the XOXO (or, shorthand, XO-2). Jettisoning the keyboard of the XO, the XOXO will be a dual-screen touch-screen affair, and they are aiming for one-watt power consumption and a $75 price tag. The XOXO seems like a rubber stamp smashed against the forehead of the company: “INSANE.”
It’s simply a concept design, granted, but OLPC still can’t get the XO-1 below $100. The dual-screen set-up is a fantastic idea — it can double as an e-book, especially since it will contain the same display technology as the currently XO, making it ideal for reading in outside conditions — but this hardly looks like technology that will be affordable in 2010. And where’s the hand crank? Is it solar powered? How are the hundreds of millions of children living without electricity supposed to charge it?
God speed, OLPC, but this looks like something Apple would release for a retail price of a couple thousand. I believe in your mission, but I simply don’t believe you guys can pull this off… at least not in 2010 for $75 (or even twice that). Perhaps you should concentrate on getting the XO-1 under $100 before you start pulling your next-gen designs straight out of Minority Report