More details on the OLPC $100 laptop

Negroponte $100 laptop

Ethan Zuckerman bumped into Nicholas Negroponte, the $100 dollar laptop man, and proceeded to grill him for a couple hours on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. Apparently some changes have been made since we saw it last, they're doing away with the gap design (pictured) due to the fragility, and instead it will have a fold out handle that can also act as a stand for when the laptop is open. About the size of a large paperback book, the OLPC can operate in a laptop mode, or in a book mode with the keyboard swung around in back and used for paging through text. There is also a game mode, which utilizes the trackballs on each side of the display and their four way buttons. They're trying very hard to keep the power consumption down, hoping for 100 minutes of power for every minute of hand cranking, and have therefore gone with a specialized style of LCD that instead of layering color filters, groups them next to each other, resulting in a blurrier picture, but lower backlight requirements. The next step is to use E-ink technology, which would do away with color, but vastly improve battery life. Ethan had some reservations as to the effectiveness of Negroponte's marketing of these so far, but overall the outlook is good for the forthcoming live demo of these machines on November 16th.