One Elonex Copycat Per Laptop Company

   
   
   
   
   

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Elonex is about to change its name to "Laptop Per Child" to complete its total imitation of OLPC. This unknown UK-based computer assembly company has done pretty much everything else to be like One Laptop Per Child.

olpc elonex

Let's recount the displays of imitation flattery, eh?

  1. They're claiming to have a £100 laptop for the United Kingdom, which sounds exactly like the "$100 laptop" claim of OLPC, regardless of the currency difference.
  2. They came out with a ugly marketing image long before they have a real laptop, kinda of like OLPC's green hand-crank laptop.
  3. They're focused on educational sales to government, this time in the UK.
  4. They called it the "One Laptop" which copies OLPC's name a little to close for comfort
  5. The president of Elonex is legally changing his name to "Nicholas Negroponte"
Okay, so I made the last one up, but would you really be surprised if that was their next step? The OLPC-mimic has gone too far with this XO-wanna be.

No matter what Elonex announces at the Education Show 2008, don't forget: You know OLPC. You've followed them before they were known. Elonex is no OLPC. Its not even Aware.

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19 Comments

No offense, Wayan, but that's one of the weirdest posts I've seen about the OLPC.

Who cares if this other company comes out with a similar system to the OLPC?

The more of these devices that are out there, in the hands of kids, the better.

This company may also have a distribution and help chain that isn't staffed by volunteers.

More power to them, I say.

I also saw this today:

The Linutop
http://www.linuxworld.com/news/2008/021508-lean-green-open-source.html?page=2

The Linutop is a pocket size desktop PC, the size of a paperback novel. It does not have an internal hard disk drive, but instead its open source operating system resides on a USB key.

The tiny machine uses an AMD Geode LX700 (x86) processor, and comes with 256MB of RAM. There are four USB 2.0 ports, which allows for external storage to be plugged in, and there is a 10/100baseT Ethernet connection, a VGA output, as well as audio in and out connections.

The aluminium case measures just 9.3 x 2.7 x 15 cm (or 3.66 x 1.06 x 5.9 inches in old money) and weights a mere 280 grams (9.9 oz). And it only consumes just 5 watts of power, making it "one of the most energy efficient on the market."

Web browsing is provided by a Firefox browser, and instant messaging is provided by Gaim, now known as Pidgin, which supports a lot of protocols including AIM, Google Talk, MSN, and Yahoo etc.

An open source word processor is also provided (Abiword), as is a simple calendar and tasks manager, a PDF viewer, and various other multimedia applications.

The machine comes bundled with the USB key containing the operating system and applications, and costs £186 ($372), excluding VAT and shipping.

Mary Lou Jepsen's $75 Laptop is around the corner (2009-2010)

http://pixelqi.com/

Intel is rumored to have something in the works:

http://www.techspot.com/news/29104-intel-to-release-lowcost-pc-platforms-sooner-than-expected.html

Here is the press release:

http://www.elonexone.co.uk/ElonexOnePressRelease.pdf

No tech specs, unfortunately.

I am glad to see that another company is imitating the XO. Learners, kid and adult, will benefit to have their own computers, be it an "XO" or a "One laptop."

Elonex doesn't deserve Wayan's sniping. Kudos to them

You miss the Elonex irony: I'm all about the competition, just not the apparent copycat errors of OLPC. If only Elonex could be like Intel, PixelQi, and other vendors who do realize that the keys to success are not in:

1. focus on price only
2. vaporware
3. government sales
4. ineffectual names
5. founderitis

Wow,

That's a confusing. Are you slamming them because they're copying the OLPC-XO too much , and that's a bad idea, because it sucks? Or not enough?

I think OLPC created a class of machines based on low price, non-vaporware (ie, free from crappy bloatware), education-oriented product names, and a good pedigree(in Education) .

If the Elonex and other machines go that way, they may be successful like a company like Intel. PixelQi, on the other hand, what's their success story? Huh?

Honestly, I hope Elonex et al can also avoid some of the rocky pathway that the OLPC XO is taking. But if they can use the good bits, then fine.

one neat trick the Elonex has is the 'detachable screen' which to my mind is actually a detachable keyboard, the computer is in the screen, like the XO. I saw some comment that this looked like over engineering, but really it isn't. The hinge is a difficult and expensive component, subject to all kinds of stresses. The XO hinge is really rather good, but it is a moving component and could break. With the Elonex they have designed the hinge out altogether. Smart move and I wouldn't be surprised to find XO2 getting a similar hingeless design.

It also has a duplicate mouse pointer / trackball on the back, so that when you use it as a tablet, you can still use the mouse pointer.

Unlike the XO, where the touchpad disappears after you fold it into tablet mode. But the XO does have game keys & a D-pad on the screen frame.

Interesting device. I wonder how it will work.

I think such announcements are great despite what you're thinking is. I think a lot of us joined the G1G1 and support OLPC because we like to see more effort of this nature. And a bit of friendly competition. Even for the non-profits like OLPC is good.

When G1G1 was (still is) screwing up the orders, most of us remained patient and rode it out. Some offered criticism, much of that was constructive.

Yours isn't.

I eventually got my XO three weeks ago, it's also a vaporware if you consider all the claims and mandates that were made when OLPC started.

Still, I love it :)

The newest Fujitsu sub-compact notebook has a form factor that basically adults-up the OLPC XO, but is otherwise the same. 5.5 hour battery life, too (but no reflective screen, and $1000/per)

Come on...I just wanna spill my coffee on that keyboard...just once?

you know, i recall Nicholas Negroponte saying that the point of the xo was to bring computers to poor children all across the world, and that the xo was not just some laptop experiment. It looks like it turned out to be a little of both though eh? its not (yet) having quite as much success as it is supposed to be...but it has really turned the entire computer industry upside down hasnt it? before the xo your best bet for a cheap computer would be a smartphone, or something off e bay. Now? look at them all! companies are now seeing not just a demand for low cost low end computers, but a threat from the xo group. As a result, at the rate we're going, in a few years low end computers will be a dime a dozen.

you know heres an idea...perhaps companies could fund the xo project so that they (the xo group) could continue to come up with novel and experimental ideas for cheap high quality computers. i didnt know about pixel qi for instance, and am surprised that they arnt all doing it. and obviously if it werent for the xo, the pixel wouldnt, and heck, couldnt exist.

i think the xo is an unbelievable project. I also think the original goals are still something to aim for. there are certain sections, such as organization (which is key to "normal" businesses if they want to turn a profit). not to insult the olpc group (god knows everyone over there is doing their very best) but there are certain aspects of these type of projects that private companies can tackle that public groups cant cover (as been discussed to great lengths on this forum already).

so basically...go xo, and go various nock offs! bringing the idea of low end high quality computers to people throughout the world, closer and closer

Since the OLPC project is to enhance education, perhaps we could get the English in item number 4. corrected. Just an idea!

@Jon
really?
I've seen nowhere in the OLPC official pages that tools to enhance good grammar use is part of the to do list. Creativity and exploring, yes. The 3 Rs? well, hmmm

Apparently it's up to other parties to develop contents and educational tools that will enable XO users to learn such trifle, and even then that doesn't seem to be much of a priority.

I am with you, Jon. I do wish that were the raison d'être of the project. But I don't see the PTB share that vision.

Thank you for pointing this out, though.

@Yamaplos:
"The 3 Rs? well, hmmm

Apparently it's up to other parties to develop contents and educational tools that will enable XO users to learn such trifle, and even then that doesn't seem to be much of a priority."

Which languages did you have in mind?

English seems rather at the end of the queu.

Winter

@Winter

Sorry, 3 Rs is an expression in English that stands for fundamental skills, wRiting, Reading, and aRithmetic. I can understand that might sound unfamiliar.

Besides that I have no idea what you mean by "at the end of the queue", but don't worry. Maybe you mean that OLPC is developing actual educational content for fundamental skills in other languages? If so I'd be interested to learn more.

@yamaplos:
"Maybe you mean that OLPC is developing actual educational content for fundamental skills in other languages?"

This is rather off-topic here. But you can discuss it in earlier OLPCnews posts:

http://www.olpcnews.com/content/education/step_xo_education_project.html
http://www.olpcnews.com/content/localization/learning_language.html
http://www.olpcnews.com/use_cases/education/test_scores_olpc_teach.html

Winter

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