Focus on- $100 Solar Powered Laptop

Editors Note – Finding News Stories that mix laptops and tablets all together isn’t tricky, but when there is a piece that links the 2 devices by something that would make them both better, we become interested. Solar energy has always flirted with laptops, with no really victory. This primerily is lead by the One laptop per child promotion, but will it work in a kingdom that gets 1492.7 hours of sunshine.


In one of recent posts we featured the Best Solar Powered Gadgets, well one the featured products was a laptop with a difference, we’ve been asked by a few of you for more information about this, so here goes!


This inexpensive laptop developed by a non-profit organisation whose goal is to give children all around the world access to a computer for learning and development. The campaign is One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and the product is the XO 3.0.

OLPC has been in the game a bit these last few years hoping to create a laptop that could be priced at $100 per unit for bulk purchase in developing nations like Uruguay and Nicaragua. The XO 3.0, developed in conjunction with Marvell, is described as a low-power, rugged tablet style computer that will reportedly be available by end of year. It builds upon previous 

models OLPC has developed along the way as it worked to figure out a model that so far has seen low cost laptops distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages.

Where solar comes into play is as one of several 

possible soft cover designs for the tablet. In this particular case, the solar panel not only shelters the tablet, but also makes use of the computer’s unique charging circuitry to charge the unit in an efficient manner. Other charging options for the XO 3.0 include hand cranking and what is described as other alternative power sources.


Features of the XO 3.0 tablet will include use of a Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, standard or Pixel Qi sunlight readable display and Android/Linux operating system support. Some of these options might drive the cost of the XO 3.0 up a bit, which is something OLPC might have some challenges on in trying to get the more pricey units sold in places where every dollar counts towards rough day to day living situations

What is the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Project?


One Laptop per Child (OLPC)

 is a project supported by the Miami-based One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA) and the Cambridge-based OLPC Foundation (OLPCF), two U.S. non-profit organizations set up to oversee the creation of affordable educational devices for use in the developing world. The project was originally funded by member organizations such as AMD, Chi Mei, eBay, Google, Marvell, News Corporation, Nortel, Red Hat, and Quanta.


In the first years of the project, the Association managed development and logistics, and the Foundation managed fundraising such as the Give One Get One campaign. In 2010 the Association set up a new office in Miami under Rodrigo Halaby, and currently oversees deployment and support for the XO-1.5 laptop and its successors, and country partnerships. The foundation, led by Chairman Nicholas Negroponte, currently oversees development of future software and hardware, including the ARM-based OLPC XO-1.75 laptop and the OLPC XO-3 tablet.


FAQ on official site of OLPC  informs that as of 2011 there were about over 2.4 million XO laptops delivered.

Sources: Wikipedia and Earthtechling (