You might say that I've at times been critical of the OLPC project, but rarely do I have anything bad to say about their actual technology. Intel has a new hardware revision out for their Classmate, and it reveals that while they get the implementation angle, they continue to miss the innovation needs:
Intel Corp. unveiled new features for its line of low-cost laptops for schools Wednesday, adding bigger screens and more data storage capacity as the chip maker ratchets up its rivalry with the One Laptop per Child organization, which sells a competing machine.
Well, admittedly, the new screen is nice, since their old screen was really tiny, but where are the much more relevant features of dust and dampness resistance, being able to read the screen in full sunlight, and rugged construction designed to get past the challenges of the developing world? Competing on screen size and harddrive space is what got us to the current state of bloated, heavy, overheating computers today, and it'd be a great thing if we competed on innovation instead of agglomeration in the low-cost laptop market. I, at least, want to see the market for ultra-portable, low-cost, low-power, reasonably-high-function laptops expand, and not merge into merely an ultra-portable market.
OLPCNews of course has some more comparisons between the Classmate 2 and the OLPC XO.