The "Children's Machine" (also called "2B1") is about to go into "test" production any day now. Also known as the $100 Laptop or OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), it is expected to actually cost $140 dollars. The computer will be sold to governments who are willing to adopt a one laptop per child policy. Countries like Brazil and Nigeria and states like Massachusetts and Maine are committed to or extremely interested in the project. The 2B1 will not be available for retail purchase, at least for a while.
The 2B1 has a keyboard but can also function as a handheld tablet. It's been designed specifically for education to have a low price, long battery life, and free software. It uses the Linux operating system, includes Wi-Fi, an SD slot. Like Palm handhelds and Pocket PCs, the 2B1 does not have a hard drive. Instead, it uses flash memory to reduce power consumption. In fact, the specifications for this computer closely resemble that of a handheld.
Recently a demonstration of the operating system for the OLPC has been posted to the Web. Click below to view the six minute video.
Search YouTube for more OLPC videos and check out The OLPC Wiki for more information. The project looks promising and will have implications for all learners as governments realize that students deserve these kinds of learning tools.