The TFT Mobilis, based on Linux
Three-way competition heats up in the classroom space

Just when you thought OLPC's XO machine had competition coming with Intel's Classmate PC, another machine has stepped up to take a swing at the low-cost child-focus computer. The source of the new machine is coming from an unlikely source however. Encore Software based in Bangalor, India, announced this week that it is sending roughly 50 units of its Mobilis (PDF) platform to the government of Brazil for testing inside classrooms.

The new Mobilis will be competing directly with the XO and the Classmate PC according to Encore. The Mobilis runs Linux and comes with a number of features the XO does not have, although many of them may not be needed by students. Some quick specifications include:
  • Either 7-inch TFT LCD or 7.5-inch STN LCD
  • Touch screen with stylus
  • Built in key-board on TFT model
  • Greater than 6-hour battery life
  • CF, SD/MMC memory card slots
  • Built in Ethernet and modem
  • Optional GPRS/GPS features
  • Stereo audio speakers and microphone
  • 750 grams net weight

Interestingly, the Mobilis also comes with an optional biometric fingerprint scanner. The unit itself is very light. Instead of the XO's human generated power source it comes with a long lasting lithium-polymer battery.

DailyTech reported on Intel's own OLPC rival this week. The unit, is expected to run Microsoft's Windows XP platform and Intel said that it is already working with local manufacturing partners to produce its Classmate PC. Microsoft on the other hand is attempting to produce a modified version of its Windows XP operating system for use on the XO machine. It will be interesting to see the end result of this heated competition.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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