OLPC News ♥ XO's High Resolution Display

OLPC Laptop Screen

Back when I first reported on the One Laptop Per Child dual mode display details, I quoted Mary Lou Jepsen saying:

What I came up with: a dual-mode display. Mode 1 is 800x600 (or higher—even 1024x768 looks surprisingly good!) color backlit with 1W MAX power consumption. Mode 2 is high resolution 1200x900 black and white reflective sunlight readable with 0.2W MAX power consumption. Mode 2 is also room light readable with the backlight off at again 0.2W power consumption.
While that's informative, it didn't really convey the OLPC visual difference. But looking through my OLPC XO Flickr photo pool, I've found a great example for the full effect of the OLPC screen resolution; way more website landscape.

Classmate PC Screen
OLPC News on Classmate PC

Take a look at the two images to the right. As you can plainly see, the OLPC XO's resolution easily outperforms the Classmate PC screen. In fact, I am shocked that Intel can even consider that view acceptable. Both on the horizontal and vertical planes, the Classmate is limiting to the viewer and the web designer. Add in all the Microsoft screen wasting bars and logos and you can't see much of OLPC News' 890 pixel-wide content.

The Children's Machine XO not only displays the full website horizontally, it also gives a sizeable vertical ratio that allows the user to read more than a few lines before scrolling down. And that's before we even talk about full daylight screen readability.

Like I've said before, the OLPC dual mode screen is revolutionary and the overall OLPC XO technology is clock-stopping hot.

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I have severe doubts about the Classmate project. I my memory, it started as a reaction of Intel (and MS) against the OLPC. Both have done everything in their power to undermine the OLPC project.

Why should I trust them to continue with the Classmate project if they succeed in stopping the OLPC project?

And MS have tried (and succeeded) to bankrupt every OEM that advertized pre-installed Linux computers. Why should I trust them to allow a sizable section of Classmates to be delivered with Linux on them?

And I agree with Negroponte that exposing young children to Office is a crime.

My biggest worry: What if there are indeed millions of poor children working on networked MS Windows laptops. The ueber-botnet?

Has the classmate project really done their security homework?

I also know the biggest attraction of the Classmate project: The laptops remain the possession of the schools. They will NOT be children's property. I can imagine many school boards wanting that for all the wrong reasons.


It's not really necessary to diss the classmate pc, you know. This isn't emacs vs. vi or python vs. the world.

As you keep harping that Negroponte said, this is an *educational* project, not a technology project.

If you do want to objectively compare the $100 laptop to the classmate pc, there are some things in favor of the $100 laptop and of course many things in favor of the classmate pc (which also runs linux and will have mandriva pre-installed I believe in some cases).

I agree with you about the XO stimulating Intel. There wouldn't be a Classmate without OLPC pushing Intel. I don't think Microsoft has that much influence, especially since Intel will ship Classmates with Linux, but that too might only be due to OLPC.

I am not out to diss the Classmate specificity, for the discussion should be the models of learning, not the hardware, but I was honestly shocked at the display resolution difference when I looked at the two screen photos. There is such a difference, I felt I had to point it out.

Maybe Intel will get the OLPC screen and then we really can compare (teaching mode) apples to apples.

These pictures do clearly show a lack of screen space on the Classmate, however some of that is due to lost space due to Windows Panel and Browser toolbars.

It would be interesting to see the same screenshot with browser in fullscreen mode (does IE7 do this?).

What would be really interesting (and funny) would be to see the Classmate actually running the OLPC build....

Maybe a really minor point. But look at the general layout. The Classmate cheap gray plastic looks like coming out from an early 90s laptop. In comparison the XO looks almost sexy, like something from the "fruit company".

"If you do want to objectively compare the $100 laptop to the classmate pc, there are some things in favor of the $100 laptop and of course many things in favor of the classmate pc"

Ask yourself, would you rather read an e-book or a website (which, on the very basic level, are the most obvious reasons for these kids to have a laptop) on a OLPC or a Classmate laptop - it's clear the outdated display technology of a Classmate makes it rather inferior.