The astounding success of Nicolas Negroponte‘s One Laptop Per Child project’s XO Laptop not only provided more than 2 million children in developing countries with low-cost, easy-to-use computers, but also became one of the most talked about pieces of product design when it was first released, winning its designer, Yves Behar, a bevy of prizes and making him something of a household name. Now, some 6 months after it was originally announced, and with the tech world having embraced tablet computing with open arms, the first images of the follow up to the XO Laptop, the XO-3 tablet have been released. Unlike Apple’s insanely popular iPad, the new tablet, designed again by Behar and his fuseproject team, looks much thicker, which might be a bad thing in the ever-thin-chasing consumer market, but seems like a much sturdier positive when you consider the main user base will be children. Here’s some info on the specifics:
The first impression of the XO-3 is its extreme simplicity. The focus is on the screen, while the surrounding green rubber border provides a safe tactile grip for children’s hands. The back surface has a bumpy texture and integrates a rear-facing camera. The connectors, power switch and speakers are arranged on the bottom edge, facing the user.
The XO-3 tablet uses similar ruggedizing strategies as the original XO laptop: rubber protection, anti-scratch grip textures, and robust construction. The XO-3 takes this protection further by creating an elastomer removable cover, which is flipped from screen cover to back cover. The cover’s arced front surface allows access to ports and buttons, and shields them during transportation to further preserve the hardware. Additionally, the solar cover option can house a solar panel combined with internal batteries for outdoor or indoor charging.