OLPC outfit plans $100 tablet

The bunch that aimed to deliver a $100 a laptop for impoverished kids - OLPC - now have a cut-price tablet in their sights.

The outfit said the computer will be based on Marvell's Moby tablet design, which the chip maker reckons it can pump out at $99 a pop.

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop Per Child, reckons the device can be delivered for under $100 - the cost of the original crank-handled XO device ended up at more like $200.

"We want to see the price drop, and volume is the key to that," Negroponte said, reckoning that Marvell's plans to punt the Moby at schools will deliver a decent volume.

A Moby prototype had a multi-touch screen 8.5 inches by 11 inches, Wi-fi connection, web cam and USB ports to allow for the use of peripherals such a mice and keyboards.

Negroponte said he expects to see a version of Linux on the device although it seems that the first tablet, dubbed the XO 3.0, will likely run Google's Android.

Negroponte ruled out using Windows 7 becuse of its memory and processor requirements.

Weili Dai, Marvell’s co-founder, said: "The Moby tablet platform – and our partnership with OLPC – represents our joint passion and commitment to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in entirely new ways. I am immensely proud of the capability of our Moby tablet and I am extremely honored to partner with the inventor of the netbook market for education, Dr Nicholas Negroponte. I applaud his leadership, vision, passion and together we will make the world a better place."

Negroponte said he expects to be able to unveil the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.