First 1,000 XO Laptops Roll off the Assembly Line in Shanghai
One Laptop Per Child Will Begin Environmental and Software Testing
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced today a major milestone in its mission to develop a low-cost laptop to eliminate global poverty by advancing the education of children in developing countries. The first 1,000 XO laptops have rolled off the assembly line at Quanta Computer’s manufacturing facility in Shanghai. Quanta Computer, the world’s largest manufacturer of notebook computers (approximately one-in-three notebook computers in the world are manufactured by the company), has devoted significant engineering and manufacturing resources to bring the OLPC product to market.
“We have answered the question of whether or not we can build a low-cost laptop”
The first machines will be put through rigorous environmental testing that will simulate the harsh conditions under which the laptops will ultimately be used. Tests will include dropping the XOs from various heights, children pounding on the keyboards, and making sure the encasements are dirt and dust resistant. Software developers will also receive units to debug the software and applications that make up the operating system.
“We have answered the question of whether or not we can build a low-cost laptop,” said Walter Bender, president of software and content of One Laptop per Child. “The challenge now is to fine-tune it to the needs of children’s learning.”
Following the completion of this phase of testing, the next units to be manufactured by Quanta in early 2007 will go to school children in Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria and Thailand – the first countries to participate in the OLPC initiative. These units will be used by the children in real-life conditions as the final phase of testing before mass production begins in the summer of 2007.
About One Laptop per Child
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and other faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. These machines will be rugged, open source, and so energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. Mesh networking will give many machines Internet access from one connection. The pricing goal will start near $100 and then steadily decrease.