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Intel Classmate PC and OLPC X0: The student choices

Written by Augusto

Intel�s Classmate was first known as Eduwise and it was created in order to be an affordable option for children from countries with developing economics, so the main idea is to help these children by providing a very useful and cheap tool for its education, that�s why it is classified as an Information and Communications Technologies Project for Development. Intel doesn�t built the netbooks but they reference the design and produce the chipsets so Worldwide OEM�s assemble their own Class Mate PC�s.

The first generation appeared in September 2006 so it�s one of the earliest netbooks, it came out to the market with a 7 inches screen and it is still one of the smallest netbooks. It used an Intel Celeron M mobile processor at 900MHz, 256MB DDR2 RAM and 1 or 2 GB storage through an external usb flash memory. It already included a Wireless LAN antenna, but it was externally connected via usb. Among its special features we find that the first Classmate PC came with a wireless pen and Note Taker as well as a Trusted Platform Module for theft control.

The second generation came out in April 2008 after upgrading the Classmate PC with important features like a 30GB hard drive disk and a 1, 2 or 4GB solid-state drive, webcam, 512MB in RAM, internal 802.11s WLAN, and a 9 inches touch screen.

Even though Intel announced that Classmate will be available with different Linux operative system versions and Windows XP Embedded, at the beginning it only appeared with Mandriva Linux for Pan European distribution and Metasys Classmate 2.0 for Latin American distribution, later it also included Ubuntu Education Edition for Classmate and Windows XP Professional.

The OLPC project pretends to provide customized hardware and software for education, and Intel joined this project in July 2007, but abandoned the project in January 2008. The Intel�s version is that they went out of the project because OLPC accused Intel of backing up low-cost laptops from its rivals, and the OLPC argument is that Intel was blocking selling contracts.

XO main purpose is to provide children with Open Source Software that besides being free, it can be easily customized and can result educative while configuring it.

The main netbook from OLPC is the X0-1 model, which uses an AMD Geode LX700 processor, 256 MiB dynamic RAM, a 7.5 inches screen . As operative systems it can be acquired with Customized Fedora, Ubuntu Linux or a low resource version of Windows XP for $10usd.

Both Intel Classmate PC�s and OLPC X0�s are a great option for students, because of their low costs, functionality and also resistance. Both models are water and dust resistant.

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