Innovative Energy Features on New Laptop

Here is an update on our past coverage of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative, courtesy of New York Times tech columnist David Pogue. He offers a detailed review of the new machine, dubbed the XO, including its innovative energy features:

One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading . . .

In the places where the XO will be used, power is often scarce. So the laptop uses a new battery chemistry, called lithium ferro-phosphate. It runs at one-tenth the temperature of a standard laptop battery, costs $10 to replace, and is good for 2,000 charges -- versus 500 on a regular laptop battery.

The laptop consumes an average of 2 watts, compared with 60 or more on a typical business laptop. That's one reason it gets such great battery life. A small yo-yo-like pull-cord charger is available (one minute of pulling provides 10 minutes of power); so is a $12 solar panel that, although only one foot square, provides enough power to recharge or power the machine.