OLPC spinoff plans $75 laptop

— 6:00 AM on January 14, 2008

For all its good intentions, the One Laptop Per Child foundation is facing a surprising amount of competition. Intel recently decided to ditch the organization so it could pursue its own Classmate PC low-cost notebook project, and now EE Times reports that former OLPC Chief Technology Officer Mary Lou Jepsen is developing a new laptop to compete with the OLPC's XO notebook.

Jepsen is currently at the helm of her own company, Pixel Qi, and she has the lofty goal of developing a low-cost notebook with a much lower price tag than that of current offerings—a scant $75. For reference, the Classmate PC costs around $250, and the XO is around $200 (although the OLPC foundation's initial price target was $100).

Jepsen hasn't yet revealed how she intends to put together a functional laptop for $75. However, she mentions on Pixel Qi's website that the key to bringing computers and Internet access to the rest of the world's population is "a new generation of low-cost, low power, durable, networked computers, leveraging open-design principles." Pixel Qi's current products include sunlight-readable displays, which the company says can be used in mainstream notebooks or in digital cameras, cell phones, and PDAs.

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