OLPC’s Give One, Get One Deal: This Time For Sure!

By  |  Monday, November 17, 2008 at 1:08 pm

g1g1The One Laptop Per Child Foundation–creator of the XO “$100 laptop” designed to help educate kids in developing nations–is back with its “Give One, Get One” for the second holiday season. In a nutshell, you make a $399 donation to the foundation. In return, one XO goes to a deserving child, and one comes to you. (In theory, you might give the one you get to a young person as well; I suspect that an awful lot of them are used by the big kids who forked over the $399, though.)

It’s a fabulous idea, and the best news about this year’s program is that Amazon.com is handling the fulfillment of the “Get One” laptops (at cost). Last year, the fulfillment firm chosen by OLPC proved incapable of getting laptops out to donors in an organized and timely fashion: When I made a donation I didn’t mind the fact that I had to wait for weeks after the estimated arrival date had come and gone so much as that the fulfillment house lost my mailing address. Repeatedly.

I always feel guilty even bringing all this up, since the “Give One” laptop is the one that really matters–if XO had told me that it simply didn’t have a laptop for me, period, I would have been okay with it. But if anyone knows how to ship out vast numbers of products reliably and promptly it’s Amazon, and it seems a safe bet that this year’s program will go infinitely smoother than last year’s bumpy start. In fact, Amazon says that they’ve got ’em in stock for immediate shipment–and when Amazon says that, I believe it.

In the time since the XO debuted, it’s proven enormously influential: It’s an obvious influence for Asus’s eee PC, the small, simple, budget-priced notebook that the rest of the laptop industry has been cheerfully ripping off for months. (Netbooks tend to be a lot more prosaic than the XO, but the inspiration is there.) OLPC is now working on a second-generation XO that includes two screens, a la Nintendo’s DS–it’ll be fascinating to see if that out-there design gets just as much sincere flattery from PC companies as the XO has.

Should you Give One, Get One in order to get an XO to use as a netbook for serious adult-type productivity? I wouldn’t: The child-sized, rubbery keyboard wasn’t meant for grown-up touch typists. And while OLPC has introduced an XO that runs Windows XP, the G1G1 laptops are the original ones, running Linux and the decidedly kid-oriented “Sugar” user interface. But the XO is a hacker’s delight. And if you do take one out in public, you’ll still attract plenty of attention.

This year’s G1G1 campaign, happily, seems to be off to a good start: The current XO is the top-selling laptop and top-selling electronic kids’ item at Amazon at the moment. I’ll be giving one and getting one myself, but since I already have an XO I’ll give away the one I get, too–to a member of the Technologizer community. Stay tuned for details…


Read more: , ,

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Joanna Says:

    Why don’t you just Give One (without getting one). There is the option on the site to just give a laptop for $199. Or you could give many, like we did at LAPTOP Magazine: http://www.laptopmag.com/l/olpc.aspx.

    But as a reader I guess I shouldn’t object to you giving one to the community.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Tell Us About the Tech You Want For the Holidays, Get a Shot at an XO Laptop | Technologizer Says:

    […] computing device that runs Linux and has a cool rotating screen. We participated in OLPC’s Give One Get One program, which sends one XO to a deserving child in a developing nation and one to the donor (namely us). […]

  2. OLPC Slashes Staff, Refocuses Mission | Technologizer Says:

    […] all:&nbspNews Just weeks after administering its “Give One, Get One” holiday season drive, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has cut its staff by 50 percent to downsize its […]