A closer look at what ‘$100 laptop’ will be

From CSMonitor.com: A closer look at what ‘$100 laptop’ will be.

It’s an astonishing experiment: Design a cool computer, unlike anything on the market, loaded with innovative features. Manufacture it for not much more than $100 apiece, a fraction of what other computers cost. Persuade government officials in developing countries to buy millions of them, and hand them to schoolchildren. Then stand back and see if you’ve done what you hoped – created a revolution in the way kids learn.

The next step in turning this techno-dream into a reality begins in February when prototypes of the XO laptop go out to be kid tested in a dozen or so countries from Brazil to Rwanda, Libya to Pakistan.

After the kids have their say, and necessary changes are made, the nonprofit group One Laptop Per Child (OLPC at www.laptop.org) plans to ship 5 million XOs around the world by the end of 2007, a first installment toward reaching the 1 billion school-age children now growing up in the developing world. The machines will be built by Quanta Computer in Taiwan.

What will the XO be like? While the final specifications may change a bit, the fundamental features are set. They include: