Humane Reader‘s $20 offline reader : needs only an external display, cables, and keyboard for a 38x25 monochrome display of Wikipedia or whatever text you please. Offered in XO green, it has been designed more as a tool for hackers than a scalable solution for offline reading. From its own website:
The palm-sized device comes with an SD Card reader for storage and a micro-usb connector for both power and USB device action! The expansion headers break out maximum hackability, and are compatible with most Arduino expansion shields. Use most existing Arduino software, or write from fresh to take full advantage of the audio, video, IR, and keyboard capabilities of the platform.
And there’s talk of a $35 touchscreen tablet : Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal is personally promoting a reportedly $35 tablet computer, which he says will be available sometime in 2011. Charbax makes the case that he is referring to (and demoing) an AllGo reference design, which was on display in June’s Freescale Tech Forum. They are still looking for a manufacturer.
Fast Company is extremely skeptical, since India’s last $10 computer was overhyped and misleadingly promoted. It wasn’t a laptop or even an entire computer, it was… hey, wait a minute… it was a cheaper Humane Reader, only done in white and with no industrial design!
These look like fun, but not something I would necessarily want to use for too long at a stretch. In contrast, I’ve been toting my XO-1.5 HS around all week, and it is very satisfying… more after the jump.
I’ve been testing my 1.5′s clicky keyboard to see how the non-membrane version handles crumbs and liquids, and how easy it really is to pop the keyboard out for cleaning or replacement. It is just… comfortable. Picking it up, unsuspending, and doing a spot of work is very natural. It’s so nice to have a device that suspends in a way that makes sense to me; even my phones never do the right thing — either too aggressive to shut off their screen, too ready to wake up, or too awkward in their “wake me up!” dance.
Also, over the weekend, Blake Setlow was visiting Cambridge, and came to visit me and Michael Stone. Between us we had three people writing or coding on their XOs in the same house. (I believe we may carry around three different models too, a 1.0, a 1.5, and a 1.5 HS) I though we would start spontaneously speaking Uruguayan.
Today Gillian and resident imaging scientist Mike Massey are tearing down an HS series to replace the keyboard on camera and add a howto page about it. Stay tuned for the photo series, here’s a teaser: