CES 2012: OLPC $100 Solar Powered Tablet

If you hadn’t noticed by now, solar is a big theme at the Consumer Electronics Show. Another one which jumped out in the early announcements to us is an inexpensive laptop developed by a non-profit whose goal is to give children all around the world access to a computer for learning and development. The entity is One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and the product is the XO 3.0.

image via OLPC

OLPC has been in the game a bit these last few years hoping to create a laptop that could be priced at $100 per unit for bulk purchase in developing nations like Uruguay and Nicaragua. The XO 3.0, developed in conjunction with Marvell, is described as a low-power, rugged tablet style computer that will reportedly be available by end of year. It builds upon previous models OLPC has developed along the way as it worked to figure out a model that so far has seen low cost laptops distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages.

Where solar comes into play, as you can see in the photo below, is as one of several possible soft cover designs for the tablet. In this particular case, the solar panel not only shelters the tablet, but also makes use of the computer’s unique charging circuitry to charge the unit in an efficient manner. Other charging options for the XO 3.0 include hand cranking and what is described as other alternative power sources.

image via OLPC

Features of the XO 3.0 tablet will include use of a Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, standard or Pixel Qi sunlight readable display and Android/Linux operating system support. Some of these options might drive the cost of the XO 3.0 up a bit, which is something OLPC might have some challenges on in trying to get the more pricey units sold in places where every dollar counts towards rough day to day living situations.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply January 11, 2012


    This is the perfect device for webOS, which is newly open-sourced! webOS’ pioneering features are starting to appear in all the other mobile operating systems… the newest Android version, the RIM’s Playbook BBOS, and even iOS, have more than a few nods to webOS.u00a0nnIt’s a linux-based, multitasking, intuitive OS with a large and very advanced homebrew development community. And the cost can’t be beat!

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Eric Pellegrini

    ONLPC is based on Fedora linux. You can still get sugar on a stick version of the OS. It’s also free with one of the largest, free software repositories in existence.

Leave a Reply