In November, you’ll be able to buy a new laptop that’s spillproof, rainproof, dustproof and drop-proof. It’s fanless, it’s silent and it weighs 3.2 pounds. One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading. The laptop has a built-in video camera, microphone, memory-card slot, graphics tablet, game-pad controllers and a screen that rotates into a tablet configuration. And this laptop will cost $200.
He does stress that power users will snort at the machine’s specs, but the idea behind OLPC is not to cater the needs of enthusiasts but rather to invest in the human resource, providing education to children in the developing world at a cheaper rate. Pogue believes the biggest obstacle to the XO’s success is not technology, but fear:
Overseas ministers of education fear that changing the status quo might risk their jobs. Big-name computer makers fear that the XO will steal away an overlooked two-billion-person market. Critics fear that the poorest countries need food, malaria protection and clean water far more than computers.
Whether the XO can overcome those fears remains to be seen. You can read Pogue's XO review here.