OLPC rips up roadmap for ultrathin XO 3

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has torn up its roadmap and announced plans to deliver an ultrathin computer.

Gone is the dual-screen XO 2 computer, which was pencilled in for release in 2010. The twin-touchscreen device folded like a book, but never got any further than the prototype stage.

In its place comes the ridiculously slender XO 3, which is described as a “single sheet of flexible plastic” that “will be unbreakable and without holes in it”. Photos of the device show it being used as a conventional laptop, sat nav, camera and games machine. (Click on the Gallery button above to see more photos.)

XO 3 satnav

Although details are very sketchy and the released photos are clearly nothing more than mock-ups, OLPC claims the device will be launched in 2012 and will have a target price “well below” $100.

OLPC has something of a history of over-optimism, however. Its original XO laptop was meant to be sold for $100, but failure to land the bulk orders required to push down the price resulted in the laptop being sold for closer to $200.

XO laptop refresh

OLPC has also announced two forthcoming refreshes of the hardware inside its current XO laptop. Version 1.5 will see the AMD processor replaced by a VIA model, and RAM boosted up to 1GB. It will have a target price of $200 and will be released in January.

The XO 1.75, due for release in early 2011, will keep the same rugged design, but include an 8.9in touchscreen. This time the processor will come from ARM, which OLPC claims will deliver twice the speed at a quarter of the cost, allowing it to drop the price to $150 or less.

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