The Classmate computer was something that looked good on paper, and had good backing, or so it seemed. Why was it that it really never caught on in a big way?

I think it was the problem with the One Laptop Per Child movement, and the fact that the computer did not differentiate itself from OLPC offerings enough. Many people thought that the computer was a toy, and would not be something to be seen with in the United States. (One person I talked to stated that he thought the two names, OLPC, and Classmate, were actually describing the same thing. Also, he stated that anyone that might see him with a Classmate might think it had been taken away from its intended user, somewhere overseas.)

Where the OLPC to me looked cheap, and probably purposely so, so that it would be less a target for theft, the Classmate seemed a cut above, and what we might have seen here in California in the place of some sort of e-reader, had the state not run out of funds for things like education.

Now mydigitallife has a description and picture of the newest Classmate, and this one looks better, seems to offer much more (considering it has not been that long since the first Classmate was offered), and may be the poor man’s iPad ( did that grab your attention? ) –

Previously we mentioned about Intel second generation Classmate PC being released during last year CES, now the giant chipmaker has refreshed a newer and much powerful version based on its relatively newer Atom N450 processor. Running at 1.66GHz maximum clock speed, the Atom design is paired with NM10 IOH (I/O Hub) as a two-chip solution suitable for smaller form factor and low power requirements, with specific features tailored for education centric usages.

Being equipped with a 10.1-inch at 1366 x 768 resolutions, it offers a similar visual experience like normal netbooks in the market but with additional touchscreen functionality to ease up input control function on top of water resistance keyboard and touchpad. Internally, it has a 1GB DDR2 (upgradable to 2GB) memory RAM and a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drive (at customizable storage size depending on OEM) suitable for normal office applications including educational usages. Worth to mention here is it also featured with a 1.3MP camera for live communication. Other features include commonly available USB 2.0 host ports, Ethernet 10/100, PCI Mini card slots, SD card slot, VGA, 802.11g/b/n, optional 3G or WiMAX. All these are well packed into a 268 x 214 x 39.5mm stylish casing at less than 1.74kg in a convertible tablet PC-like form factor with a unique carrying holder.

No pricing information yet, the next generation Classmate PC is already available now from vendor like CTL to promote better education opportunity especially in emerging countries.

Those noticing the weight may balk at the total, but remembering what the unit will do makes the weight worthwhile, and that a few years ago, nowhere near this level of integration and efficiency was possible.

Kids have it so great today!

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