New OLPC laptop to bring sexy touchscreens, gadget envy to the Third World

The One Laptop Per Child program — the program that aims to put cheap but functional notebook computers in the hands of children in impoverished countries — has been shipping the distinctively green XO laptop since the end of 2007, but the people behind it are already looking to the future. Program founder Nicholas Negroponte revealed yesterday the next-generation XO-2, and it looks pretty rockin'.

Incorporating dual touchscreens in kind of an e-book form factor, the XO-2 is half the size of the original. The displays are bright enough to be usable in sunlight and can toggle between vertical, horizontal and tablet displays easily (video demoing this after the jump). Power consumption is a mere 1 watt, and Negroponte hopes the final cost will be around $75 — which sounds like wishful thinking considering the XO doesn't even cost that little.

In any case, the XO-2 probably won't be ready until 2010. But when it does become a reality, kids in developing nations will finally be able to act like their Western counterparts in one crucial way — making fun of other kids for not having the latest gadget.





Laptop Magazine, via Switched