Battle Raging Between Mini-notebooks and One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child, the company that wants to help the "world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning" isn't getting much love from global PC makers.

Coming on the heels of a Wired magazine story touting One Laptop Per Child as having hit the big time, Businessweek.com reports today that while the company has decided to open-source their hardware design, global PC makers are unlikely to participate, instead opting to focus on their own agenda of producing competitive mini-notebooks.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte has said recently that current notebooks lack three important design features: low power equal to or below 2 watts; ruggedness and the ability to be repairable easily; and displays that are readable in the sun.


While such features could be made available by non-traditional vendors, Big multinationals, such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, are not interested in helping out. According to Reuben Tan, IDC's senior manager for personal systems research in the Asia-Pacific region, these big vendors are more interested in copying One Laptop's price and optimized operating system—features that have not been properly addressed in the mini-notebook market yet.

One Dell spokesperson told ZDNet Asia that user demands differ according to markets or need. And a Lenovo spokesperson said that it was "premature to comment" as the company does not have details on the OLPC offering. While OLPC has seen successes in Latin America, penetration is "very low" in regions such as the Asia-Pacific. Mini-notebooks, on the other hand, which emerged after OLPC's XO laptops came onto the global scene, have seen strong growth in those areas.

One Laptop Per Child may have thought that their altruistic mission would insulate them from competition, but in this economy, the world's poorest children is a market niche that PC makers are not willing to ignore. Please don't miss Big Think's interview with Mary Lou Jepsen, the co-creator of One Laptop Per Child on her plan to change the world.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less