The XO laptop

XO laptop

The XO laptop (nicknamed the hundred-dollar laptop) is at the centre of the ‘One Laptop Per Child’s mission. The laptop was designed by experts in the industry, and built by Quanta. It was specifically built to be a flexible, responsive, ultra-low cost, ultra-efficient, durable from the outset.

The 7.5” screen has alternate modes of display: transmissive, a full colour, fully lit mode and a reflective which the screen turns black and white but is still readable in sunlight. In the latter mode, it consumes a mere 0.2 watts. The transmissive mode still consumes about one watt, but that is still about a seventh of the industry average LCD laptop.

More energy savings come from the CPU, which selectively suspends operations cutting the need for power. All these energy saving initiatives mean that the XO consumes around a tenth of the power of a standard commercial laptop – a mere 2 watts!

A full time wireless route is fitted, creating it’s very own mesh network ‘out of the box’. This crucially allows children to enjoy internet access with its immeasurable resources of information, communication and entertainment and be linked to other children, teachers and families.

XO is fully compliant with the European Union's RoHS Directive, containing no hazardous materials. The batteries include enhanced battery management for an extended recharge-cycle lifetime. Where direct power is not available, the XO laptop can be powered solar energy or manually, various options include a crank, a pedal or a pull-chord.

Our Vision for One Laptop Per Child is to participate in the "Give 100" scheme where we run fundraising with an aim to bulk buy XO laptops and have them delivered to children via the OLPC.

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Durability from the outset was a key function. Equally the need for it to appeal to it’s target audience, children was also factored in, so both weight and looks were also important issues.

Consequently the XO laptop is about the size of a textbook, the edges are rounded off and weighs no more than the average lunchbox (approximetly 1.5kg depending on the battery). The ‘transformer hinge’ allows it to function as a e-Book, games console and a standard laptop. The child-friendly interface features a rubber membrane keyboard and a dual-mode, extra-wide touchpad for pointing, drawing and writing.

XO laptop

More robustness comes from the absence of moving parts and the hard drive, which statistically is most likely to fail. The walls are almost twice as thick as standard laptops at 2mm too. Protection of its USB ports comes from the mesh network antennas, the display also being cushioned by internal ‘bumpers’.

The XO laptops have an estimated 5 year lifespan. Before they were first shipped out, the laptops were exposed to ruthless tests, often to destruction to ensure durability by both man and machine…and child.

You can donate a laptop through the One Laptop Per Child foundation, or alternatively take part in the Give One, Get One scheme in which the buyer receives an XO laptop themselves as well as giving one to a child.

NOTE: This item is due to be released on January 15, 2009

Your donation helps change lives. See Zimi's story and many others at the

One Laptop Per Child YouTube Channel.

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