Designing the XO-4 Touch – Part 3: “Goodies”

Power and battery life

The XO-4 features a powerful dual-core CPU running at 1GHz or 1.2GHz, 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 4/8/16GB eMMC storage (and larger in the future). It supports a new battery chemistry (NiMH).

XO-4 – HDMI output to monitor

Video output to connect XOs to monitors and projectors has been a popular request. The XO 4 includes a mini-HDMI output port that can drive HDMI devices as well as traditional VGA displays (with an adapter). All in plug-and-play style.

Older XO models still support USB-to-VGA solutions, and the team intends to expand support for DisplayLink, which is a strong industry standard for USB-to-VGA.

Good things stay the same

In the midst of all these changes, the development team is making sure that all the good things of the XO laptop remain in the XO-4 model.

The child-proof grid membrane keyboard avoids choking hazards and has won the only “Children’s product” USL certification in the industry. The power input allows charging from a wide range of power sources, including power sources that vary their voltage such as solar panels.

The team has been careful to preserve the sunlight-readable screen and long battery lifetime. The microphone input jack still supports connecting humidity and light sensors to use them for science experiments and learning programming.

The laptops still work in hotter and colder environments than others, and still work at higher altitudes too.

For established deployments, it is also important that almost all XO spare parts remain compatible. Existing and new laptops can trade parts and share parts inventory to protect the existing investment and save money. New XO-4 motherboards can be used to repair or upgrade older units at a very modest cost.

A new release of our operating system is planned for early 2013—bringing all the new software versions to existing XO laptops—so environments with a mix of earlier laptops and new XO-4 can have an integrated user experience.

When you open an XO-4, there are lots of things inside—most of them invisible, hiding in the details. Millions of engineering hours, thousands of sleepless nights from the team, making sure this is the right machine for the next generation. For the next few months, the team will still be busy in at the assembly lines, the test labs, pounding keyboards, making sure everything comes together right on time for the start of production.

by: Marting Langhoff

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