We still haven't seen anything beyond BTest-2 of OLPC
's impending XO
laptop, but Jürgen Rink over at heise mobil has an in-depth rundown of the project, the laptop and the competition. There's much to be said, eight pages of it, in fact, but Jürgen provides some interesting insights into what sets the XO's tech apart from current laptops and other entrants in the educational laptop space. He also makes it quite clear that the XO has a ways to go, with power consumption -- which Nicholas Negroponte is targeting at 2 watts -- currently ranging from 6.5 to 9.1 watts, and the battery life at 2.5 to 3.5 hours falls far short of the projected 10 hours. Also MIA is the back light sensor, and that much talked about pull-string power generator
hasn't even hit prototype stages yet. There are concerns that the convertible display hinge will prove to fragile under heavy use, and software holes like security and missing apps will need to be fixed before the laptop is ready for prime time. That said, the laptop provides some pretty interesting advancements in the realm of hardware and software, with notables like the reflective display, mesh networking, stylus-friendly trackpads and the "kids teach themselves" concept differentiating the XO from edu-PC wannabes. The project still hasn't reached its moment of truth, when verbally-committed governments have to start ponying up cash, but the first order of business is wrapping development on the XO, and we look forward to peeping the final product.