You know, we've been covering the OLPC
so long that it started to feel like we'd never actually be able to get to hold one. And then last night happened. Oh sweet beautiful lords of gadgetude, we wrapped our mitts around the
~$150 portable of Negroponte genesis and were, well, ok with it. Not that it should be all that surprising considering the price, but the keyboard was a bit crappy, kind of cheap feeling and rubberized, like the Sidekick II, but the effect doesn't carry over to full QWERTY. The trackpad was rather good, and the plastics felt pretty solid. Not too flimsy for a machine of its class, seemingly decent build quality and all. The screen looked decent enough as well, but the peeps manning the booth didn't flip it into monochrome mode, which was kind of a bummer. We dug flipping it into tablet mode, but then the reality set in: we only had a few minutes to play with this thing, and it has an almost entirely symbolic interface. Meaning that we (and the booth attendees) who weren't familiar with its workings weren't able to easily find our way around. Still, we'd plunk down a Benjamin or two (or three) for one -- ya hear us, Nick? Nick!