Wednesday, June 24, 2009


First off, these little laptops are called XOs cos of the little kid icon! (We don’t want anyone to be confused you see :)

I don’t think we’ve talked about the functions and adaptations of the XO as yet. As you can tell from the first picture, the laptops are small and efficient (notice the comparison between a regular laptop). In fact, OLPC’s introduction of the XO has lead the commercial market to begin to produce smaller personal laptops, such as the notebook/ebooks at present.

Though they look small, and almost like a toy, they have all the full features of any other laptop. Since they were built particularly for kids in the developing world, they are meant for the outdoors. Where our $1000+ laptops will be spoilt if dropped/ wet etc (and most times kept far away from us as kids!), these little guys can withstand falls, get wet and withstand exposure to sun/ sand and more.

For our deployment, we chose chargers meant for an electrical source as our schools have reliable electricity grid. However, they’re also made with the option of a little solar cell or chargers meant for geneators.

What’s more, the monitors have a built-in video/camera and microphone for recording purposes. The monitors can also be rotated so that you can share what's on your screen with friends too. These laptops aren’t meant to replace all school materials, but they can serve that purpose. They fully rotate 180 degrees to fold down... press a button to flip the direction of the screen, and there you have an e-book for easy reading!

Initially, we thought the only way that the laptops could connect with each other was only with internet access. But what makes the XO unique as compared to a lot of the products out in the market, is that the laptops can connect to each other using an internal wireless system, called a mesh network (that’s what the little ‘ears’ are at the top of the monitor). There’s an option called the ‘neighborhood’ view, where if other kids have their XOs on, it’ll register everyone within range. That way, it allows for easy collaboration on programs – whether a game of Maze or Chat with your buds!

Anna & Aimee

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