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$100 buys a lot of laptop

SJ Klein has brought by a working $100 laptop (for the One Laptop Per Child project). It is way cool. You want to pick it up and give it a hug. And the darn thing works.

The screen is pretty bright and very clear. It twists from the usual clamshell into a tablet configuration. The integrated camera works nicely. The chiclet keyboard is small for my fingers, but the whole device is only about 8″ square. It’s got PlayStation controls on either side of the screen. (EthanZ points out that when the antenna ears are up, it acts as a mesh node, using very little power. When the ears are down, it’s asleep.”

There are a zillion questions that have to be answered right for this project to work. The hardware has to be robust and/or easily repaired (although repairing it in remote locations would be a problem). The software has to hit every goal of commercial software and then some. And the whole project has to be fetching.

Fetching they have definitely achieved. And some very smart people are working on those other questions.

Meanwhile, I’m watching two smart adults fail to figure out how to open the case. SJ says it takes three year olds 30 seconds, but adults much longer. My guess ended up removing the battery. “This will be fixed by the next release,” says SJ, who meanwhile is happily making a video of us failing to crack the code.

(See Chris Blizzard’s blog for the continuing story.)

100 dollar laptop

100 dollar laptop

100 dollar laptop

100 dollar laptop
Pictures by J. Thanks!

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