CES 2013: One Laptop Per Child XO-4 Touch revealed

OLPC XO-4 Touch

Chip manufacturer Marvell displays latest low-cost laptop, the OLPC XO-4 Touch, at CES 2013

Chip manufacturer Marvell is showing off the One Laptop Per Child XO-4 Touch at CES 2013, as the charity project makes another bid to crack the low-cost laptop.

The hybrid laptop, announced last year and launching in the first quarter of this year, is designed for educational use in emerging economies.

Price and a release date are expected to be announced later this year, but attendees of CES press preview event CES Unveiled were able to get their hands on the device early at Marvell’s booth.

The XO-4 Touch is a convertible laptop with a dual-input, 7.5in touchscreen that can run in either standard backlit mode or in a low-power greyscale mode designed to be legible outdoors. Touchscreen capabilities come courtesy of infrared technology and the machine weighs either 1.36kg with a lithium iron phosphate battery, or 1.58kg with a standard NiMH cell.

There’s either 1Gb or 2GB of DDR3 RAM available, plus up to 8GB of storage. Computing power comes from Marvell’s 1.2GHz PXA2128 system-on-a-chip. The OS is a version of Fedora 18.

The OLPC XO-4 Touch has plenty to prove: the project's champion, Nicholas Negroponte, predicted sales of five million OLPCs by 2007; the reality in 2009 was closer to 1.5 million, leading some to wonder about the long-term viability of cheap laptops for emerging economies.

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