According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You’ve seen my video of Marvell’s 4.3″ Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10″).
This is an image of a 10″ Marvell powered tablet recently shown at the Future of Publishing Summit in New York City as published by Harry McCracken of Technologizer.com, which may be the first $99 Moby Tablet prototype. Consider, this prototype design is most likely of a reference design, Moby won’t look like this when shipped.
Marvell’s Moby Tablet may be the first prototype of the OLPC XO 3.0:
The OLPC XO 3.0 for $75 wasn’t supposed to happen before 2012, but Marvell may now be speeding up its release for a $99 Tablet for Education within months.
Marvell’s first version of the $99 Tablet might not initially achieve all the design goals of the One Laptop Per Child XO-3, such as making it as waterproof, sturdy and with plastic unbreakable touch screen.
Will Marvell sell it directly to Governments and Schools to keep the costs low? Or does Marvell plan to have many vendors use their Tablet platform to release several versions of this Tablet platform for around $99 using many brands?
Most importantly, will the first Moby tablets come with a 10″ Pixel Qi capacitive touch screen display? Their press release does not yet mention Pixel Qi for the screen technology. But as this is targetted for replacing school textbooks, as it’s intended for reading, as Marvell is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop Per Child program of which Pixel Qi is a spin-off company and that the press release clearly says that “The ultra low power Moby tablet is designed for long-battery life“, my expectation is that it has to come with a Pixel Qi LCD touch screen display to be readable nearly as clearly as with e-ink and to be able to provide 20-30h battery runtime or more.
Powered by high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell® ARMADA™ 600 series of application processors, the Moby tablet features gigahertz-class processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics capability and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android™ and Windows Mobile.
This seems to be happening now, for release soon, yet not with a confirmed release date yet:
Announcing the initiative this week during her keynote speech to the country’s leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference in New York City, Marvell Co-founder Weili Dai said that the Moby tablet is a technology whose time had come.
Marvell will soon announce a pilot program in partnership with the District of Columbia Public School system (DCPS) where the Company will donate a Moby tablet to every child in an at-risk school as part of a multi-year program in new media and learning.
And this is definitely related to the One Laptop Per Child OLPC project:
Marvell has made a long-term commitment to supporting education at all levels and is the largest sponsor of the One Laptop per Child program which is bringing much-needed netbook computers to the developing world.
It would be really great of Marvell to speed up the release of the thin, light and cheap tablet/e-reader for education. Weili Dai, Marvell’s Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor’s Consumer and Computing Business Unit said following at her keynote speech to the country’s leading publishers at the Future of Publishing conference:
Education is the most pressing social and economic issue facing our country and our times. (…) Marvell can help propel education into the 21st century with an all-in-one device that gives students access to the best live content, information and resources the world has to offer — from books and online sources, in text, video, news, music, data expression or any medium. With Moby tablet, students can conduct primary research, reach out directly to the world’s leading subject experts and even collaborate with one another around the globe. Best of all, the device is highly affordable. I envision Marvell’s Moby tablets to benefit all students around the world.
I am definitely eager to see and hear more on Marvell’s Moby $99 Tablet project. Look forward to more coverage on this Tablet/e-Reader for Education here at http://ARMdevices.net as I try to get more informations and perhaps even bring you videos of more prototypes soon.