OLPC has just announced that their next device, the XO-4, is going to have a touchscreen. OLPC is skipping right over all the old screen tech (resistive, capacitive, Wacom) and going with the latest zForce IR touchscreen provided by Neonode.
There’s not a lot of details yet on the new XO-4 Touch, but the press release does mention that it will keep the 7.5″ Pixel Qi screen found on current XO laptops,
and it will also run on the Marvell ARMADA CPU used by the XO-1.5 and the XO-1.75. While the XO-4 Touch’s launch date and pricing are yet to be confirmed, the release is expected in Q1 in 2013. Actually, now that I’ve read the press release I’m pretty sure this isn’t a new device. From what I can tell the XO-4 Touch is simply another name for the XO-1.75 Touch which was announced a couple weeks back.
Today’s news is vague enough that I can’t really say that these 2 XO models are different, so until I get some photos I’m going to assume that all that happened today was that OLPC changed the name. That is enough of a good idea that it makes more sense than having 2 different touchscreen equipped XO laptops.
But it also raises the point why OLPC couldn’t have figured out that XO-4 was a better name in the first place. That’s not a good sign that they have their wits about them when it comes to basic marketing.
Update: I now have some details about the XO-4. It turns out it has a different and newer Marvell CPU. The XO-4 has generally the same specs as the XO-1.75 (listed here) but it’s also going to add an HDMI out port at the cost of one of the 3 USB ports. So it is a slightly different model.