First Version XO-3 Laptop to be Released by Marvell

   
   
   
   
   

According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You've seen my video of Marvell's 4.3″ Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10″).


This is an image of a 10″ Marvell powered tablet recently shown at the Future of Publishing Summit in New York City as published by Harry McCracken of Technologizer.com, which may be the first $99 Moby Tablet prototype. Consider, this prototype design is most likely of a reference design, Moby won't look like this when shipped.

Marvell's Moby Tablet may be the first prototype of the OLPC XO 3.0 The OLPC XO 3.0 for $75 wasn't supposed to happen before 2012, but Marvell may now be speeding up its release for a $99 Tablet for Education within months.

Marvell's first version of the $99 Tablet might not initially achieve all the design goals of the One Laptop Per Child XO-3, such as making it as waterproof, sturdy and with plastic unbreakable touch screen.

Will Marvell sell it directly to Governments and Schools to keep the costs low? Or does Marvell plan to have many vendors use their Tablet platform to release several versions of this Tablet platform for around $99 using many brands?

Most importantly, will the first Moby tablets come with a 10″ Pixel Qi capacitive touch screen display? Their press release does not yet mention Pixel Qi for the screen technology.

But as this is targeted for replacing school textbooks, as it's intended for reading, as Marvell is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop Per Child program of which Pixel Qi is a spin-off company and that the press release clearly says that "The ultra low power Moby tablet is designed for long-battery life", my expectation is that it has to come with a Pixel Qi LCD touch screen display to be readable nearly as clearly as with e-ink and to be able to provide 20-30h battery runtime or more.

Powered by high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell® ARMADA 600 series of application processors, the Moby tablet features gigahertz-class processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics capability and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android and Windows Mobile.

This seems to be happening now, for release soon, yet not with a confirmed release date yet:

Announcing the initiative this week during her keynote speech to the country's leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference in New York City, Marvell Co-founder Weili Dai said that the Moby tablet is a technology whose time had come.

Marvell will soon announce a pilot program in partnership with the District of Columbia Public School system (DCPS) where the Company will donate a Moby tablet to every child in an at-risk school as part of a multi-year program in new media and learning.

And this is definitely related to the One Laptop Per Child OLPC project:

Marvell has made a long-term commitment to supporting education at all levels and is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop per Child program which is bringing much-needed netbook computers to the developing world.

It would be really great of Marvell to speed up the release of the thin, light and cheap tablet/e-reader for education. Weili Dai, Marvell's Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor's Consumer and Computing Business Unit said following at her keynote speech to the country's leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference:

Education is the most pressing social and economic issue facing our country and our times. (...) Marvell can help propel education into the 21st century with an all-in-one device that gives students access to the best live content, information and resources the world has to offer -- from books and online sources, in text, video, news, music, data expression or any medium. With Moby tablet, students can conduct primary research, reach out directly to the world's leading subject experts and even collaborate with one another around the globe. Best of all, the device is highly affordable. I envision Marvell's Moby tablets to benefit all students around the world.

I am definitely eager to see and hear more on Marvell's Moby $99 Tablet project. Look forward to more coverage on this Tablet/e-Reader for Education here at http://ARMdevices.net as I try to get more information and perhaps even bring you videos of more prototypes soon.

This post was originally published as Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

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OLPC News has just learned that all variants of the XO-3 Moby tablet from Marvel will run the Sugar Learning Platform by default. GNOME will also be an option via a dual desktop - the same setup as the XO-1.5. [more]

8 Comments

A brave new world. I hope all future versions of XOs are even more rugged and durable then prior versions. It's a harsh environment out there, not only climate-wise. Chlldren are not necessarily naturally careful with delicate equipment. They must be carefully taught. Many children and adults in countries where these computers are being deployed have had little to no prior experience with anything at all that's delicate---like electronic equipment. Power adapters are weak links, and fail easily, due to rough handling, power outages/surges, etc. Without charging capability, the OLPC computers are useless in a matter of hours. So, work away on the designs, yes, but keep the real operating environment and "customers" firmly in mind.
Maryanne Ward, President Ghana Together

I really like this. I don't think it will revolutionize education (just like OLPC didn't). However this effort on commoditization of hardware components will surely revolutionize the low end market of computing devices. This will benefit OLPC by the fact that it will use very cheap and widespread components. In fact, I welcome other competitive initiatives to OLPC, to drive both cost reduction and stirring innovation. OLPC needs competition do do better.

OLPC is all about bringing more competition. What Intel has done to OLPC is not to compete, but to try to keep competition away from the market.

Marvell doesn't compete with olpc, they make it happen sooner and faster, to thus bring more competition to Intel/Apple/Microsoft to the market.

This is how the revolution will happen. It won't be a matter of olpc producing 500 million laptops. Instead the olpc project will stimulate dozens of oem's to produce inexpensive educational computers.

happy to see that Marvell has the funds to develop a new OLPC and I hope to do the same thing with :MY:Low:Cost:PC: design: http://www.olpcdesign.com/

Does it run Linux? are Free Software ready to run on it?

I'm really dissappointed at where olpc is going. To me it kind of seems as if everyone just started chasing after some dream right after work on the xo-1 had finished. I thought olpc was about giving children a durable, intuitive machine they could work and learn with in any surrounding, be it near a desert storm or the monsun. Xo-1 was a nice start, it has its flaws but it was a step in the right direction. Xo-2 looked fancy but something could be made out of that concept. At least there was the possibility of closing the device and keeping the two screens from getting sratched, cracked and whatnot too easily. When I read that the xo-2 concept was being ditched for something even more revolutionary, shiny and fancy, however, I started to think that the guys in charge had obviously started to lose it. An Ipad for third world countries? I mean seriously?
I see people on the underground every day, protecting their touchscreen mobile devices with special covers, foils, bags...in a first world country where the worst thing that will happen to those devices will be the key in a pocket, the coffee mug on the desk, or similar. Really, the whole touch-pad concept is ridiculous and out of place in an African village, near Ganges river, etc.
At the moment I see two unfortunate possible roads olpc might be taking in 2012. Either we will stay suck with the xo-1.-whatever or olpc will be dead alltogether. And all of that because some people who initially wanted to create something good for the less developed got carried away by science-fiction design studies instead of thinking of reality.

If you can get an Indian student tablet at $35 subsidized ($65 total) running at 633mHz. Then I can't wait to see this come into fruitation. Maybe with GPS/FM/Bluetooth too. I hope that they start shifting their apps to HTML5 (offline). I can envision this working extremely efficiently with a Chrome OS backend and an HTML 5 interface.

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