The OLPC XO-3, launched at CES 2012, is substantially thicker than the absurdly thin concept tablet shown in 2009. Unfortunately, e-paper tech hasn't advanced as much as the designers envisioned, so Behar and his team moved to a thicker design, with a green rubber border and a removable cover.
The cover can be used to house a thin solar cell to charge internal batteries. While the kids are in school, the cover can be left outside to charge in the sun. Once put back on, the battery reconnects and recharges the machine.
From Behar's statement:
The first impression of the XO-â€3 is its extreme simplicity. The focus is on the screen, while the surrounding green rubber border provides a safe tactile grip for children’s hands. The back surface has a bumpy texture and integrates a rear-â€facing camera. The connectors, power switch and speakers are arranged on the bottom edge, facing the user. The XO-â€3 tablet uses similar ruggedizing strategies as the original XO laptop: rubber protection, anti-â€scratch grip textures, and robust construction. The XO-â€3 takes this protection further by creating an elastomer removable cover, which is flipped from screen cover to back cover. The cover’s arced front surface allows access to ports and buttons, and shields them during transportation to further preserve the hardware. Additionally, the solar cover option can house a solar panel combined with internal batteries for outdoor or indoor charging. Our approach has been to minimize complexity, while delivering a high quality, and a heightened touch feel. There is playfulness in the way one can adapt the cover to different needs, while each design detail and material is chosen to deliver maximum value.