One Laptop Per Child (Or Grownup?)

Our (children’s) XO laptops arrived yesterday, and they are quite the hit already. They are fun for us, great learning tools for the kids – including learning why they were created in the first place. I hope they prove/have proved to be as successful with the children for whom the donated laptops are intended. (See earlier Slaw posts – for example, here and here.)

My son, 5, has figured out how to open it, power on and off, navigate around the screen, return to “home” and use a couple of the included applications: made a bit of music on the tamtam jam and wrote a (2 line, so far) short story and learned how to save it as a rich text file. Wow. My daughter, 2, can’t figure out why we are trying to hold back her active hands from the machine – despite its robustness, the XO does come with the caution not to throw or step on it…

The XO to XO communication, one of the primary features, is really a nice touch and, I’m sure, will make for much enjoyment between our children. The various applications and games are designed for collaborative and interactive use. My husband used my son’s XO to take and upload a pic of my daughter’s XO to my husband’s Facebook page. (The XOs have built-in cameras.) See:
(If you wish, click on the image to enlarge and see his comments. Don’t ask me why he’s sideways.)

The online support has already proved handy also. We briefly thought we might have had a lemon on our hands in one the machines, as the touchpad was uncooperative (“it’s not listening very well”, said my son). Took about 5 minutes to find that there is a quick fix that a five-year-old’s hands can execute, and all is fine.

And, my goodness, these are fun little machines. I will ensure my daughter’s is well taken care of. (Of course I will help her learn to use it too.)


  1. It’s nice to have a report from someone actually in possession of an XO. For myself, I’m lusting over the new Apple Air (sigh…)

  2. Lusting, are we? I was going to use “MacBook Erred?” as the heading for a post, but here’s is good enough. Here’s a ZDNet link to a spate of articles about the new machine.

  3. Just to be contrary, here is an opposing view on the XO:

    Why $100 laptops won’t work: