Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2008 20:44 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems El Reg has an in-depth review of the XO laptop. They conclude: "There's a lot to like about the XO laptop. It's tough, it's great as an eBook reader, it has a big (for its category), high resolution screen. It runs silent and cool, has good battery life, and the clean design of the Sugar interface is easy to use. But several areas need work. The browser should be replaced by Firefox, and the Journal needs to support folders to match how people actually organise their work and play. Multimedia performance needs to be improved, which can hopefully be done through software. The XO needs a unified media player that supports all media types, along with playlists, and should be integrated with the UI. Most of these changes come down to the OLPC organisation placing more emphasis on real-world usability and less on their ideals of a perfect interface. If they can manage to do this, the XO laptop could be a great tool for learning and play."
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RE: XO Laptop
by Bobthearch on Fri 18th Jan 2008 04:52 UTC in reply to "XO Laptop"
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

Yep, I doubt there's a kid anywhere who doesn't want to play mp3 files and u-Tube movies. That's a significant omission. Other standard media file types are reportedly not supported either. FYI to the OLPC folks, distributed educational materials generally contain multimedia presentations!

But the biggest problems I see are more fundamental:

* How can anyone learn to use a computer without being familiar with folders and subfolders? Being able to store, organize, and retrieve data is critical for any job or educational task. The XO file method looks like a real mess, and reportedly doesn't even work correctly.

* Hardware/software problems. Here's a computer long overdue and quadrupled in price, but yet there's defective hardware, and software that doesn't work like it should. Just how would OLPC issue mass refunds or recall repairs for millions of computers distributed to remote locations around the world?

* Why does it take five times longer to boot than the Eee?

* Why is the XO purposefully designed to make running non-included apps difficult? Should children really be expected to launch additional programs via the terminal? And how difficult is it going to be to install those programs in the first place?

One additional topic I wish the reviewer would have "touched" on, how responsive is the keyboard? Do the keys promote proper typing and have a good solid Click? Or are they spongy with no tactile feedback, like the chicklet keyboards from past decades?

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