OLPC XO-3 Concept Tablet/Smartbook – Vaporware?

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Image courtesy of OLPC

That is NOT another Apple tablet faux-photo. It is one of several concept images that the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project released just before Christmas last month…

XO-3 concept design is here!

The fantastic looking device has an equally fantastic projected price: $75. Of course, OLPC had equally fantastic price projections for the original XO. Remember the $100 PC? The XO was eventually available for $200 and kickstarted the netbook revolution. I use the word “available” loosely since it was only briefly available in industrialized nations if you purchased one for yourself and one for some unknown recepient (which I did, btw).

The OLPC XO had a couple of problems…

– It was not easily available to potential developers in industrialized nations
– It was and is under-powered
– It placed a very odd graphical user interface on top of what is essentially Fedora Linux

The end-result was:

– not even getting close to their original project sales
– getting very little coverage in the press after its initial splash
– fragmenting their project team

The XO-3 doesn’t have a firm release date. Unlike the XO which preceded netbooks, the XO-3 will probably be available long after smartbooks and whatever Apple announces on January 26 is available. My guess is that the XO-3 will never see the light of day.