The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) non-profit organization has confirmed a new version of the XO device is currently in development. The XO-4 Touch, described as a huge leap forward in what the organization can offer, is a hybrid device that combines the XO’s existing laptop functionality with a full-functional tablet.

The device will include a 7.5-inch optical multi-touch display from Neonode which features low-latency pen and brush sensors that can detect pressure and is usable under direct sunlight. The XO-4 will be powered by Marvell’s new ARMADA 2128, a low-power 40nm multicore application processor. As a convertible, there’s also a keyboard for simplified text input in addition to the touch screen.

OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda notes there’s a constant debate over laptops versus tablets in educational programs but he believes that both have merits in the classroom. The XO-4 aims to deliver dual benefits and continues to use the award-winning design from Yves Behar’s FuseProject. If you recall, Behar is also responsible for designing the Ouya Android-based gaming console and the Jawbone Jambox.

Pricing and an exact launch date have yet to be determined although we are told that the XO-4 will drop sometime in the first quarter of 2013. For comparison, the XO 3.0 tablet prototype we saw at this year’s CES had a retail price tag of just $100 and although not a full computer, the Raspberry Pi is another popular entry-level system at just $25.