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Tablets for good, on the cheap

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A few years ago, Nicholas Negroponte, dreamed up One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), and the plan was to make affordable laptops available to kids in third world countries. The plan has been through some rough patches and, although not exactly a failure, not every kid has a laptop (you knew that, right?). Anyway, Negroponte is back at it, only this time his device of choice is a tablet. And if all goes to plan, the device will cost less than $100. He’s unveiling the XO 3.0 tablet at the Consumer Electronics show this week. It comes with a neon-green, rubber case that should help protect it from the elements, and as Gizmodo points out, there’s an interesting element to its connecting ports:
There’s your standard USB, microUSB, audio in/out, sensor input. But there’s also what makes OLPC products so crucial for places where energy comes at a premium: a charging port designed to accept a wide range of DC power inputs and, more importantly, to convert that power far more efficiently than the gadgets we’re used to. You could, for instance, plug in a hand crank and get up to 10 minutes of power for every one minute of elbow grease.
So six minutes of cranking gets you an hour of tablet time. Cool.

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