In what seems to be a start of a war to get affordable ultra-portable laptops to the consumers, OLPC, Intel and Asus release their products just in time for the holiday. Each one seems to target one particular niche but at the end of the day, they all cater to consumers. I'll take a bold step here in comparing each product even without getting my hands on them, with the exception of the Eee PC.
First, the target audience. OLPC's XO Laptop is geared for children (students). Intel's Classmate PC is also marketed towards the students. Asus targets a bigger market, students included, with their Eee PC.
Next is availability. The OLPC XO Laptop is currently on production but pre-orders are being taken already. I am tempted to order one just so I can give it to my kids but I have to find a way to buy it in the US.
The Intel ZDNet-Asia report,PC is not available in retail stores and you cannot find a way to order one online. Here's an excerpt from a
An Intel executive, meanwhile, said the eePC (sic) will not compete directly with the Classmate PC, Intel's own low-cost laptop, which will not be available in the general retail market in the Philippines.
"The two products are aimed at different markets," said Carlo Subido, business solutions manager at Intel. He added that unlike the eePC (sic), the Classmate PC will be marketed specifically for Philippine schools and government agencies.
Frankly, I do not know why they are targeting the government agencies with such a device. I will explain this comment later.
As for the Asus Eee PC, it is now available in the market and has been received favorably. The Asus Eee PC site claims to have sold a unit every 6 seconds and that it is America's most wanted holiday gift! Top that as a marketing ploy. :)
In the next few days, I will continue to compare these three devices since all three runs Linux as their preferred OS making it a perfect device for us! :)