Saturday, March 27, 2010

Moby Tablet is a Whale of an Offer at $99

Marvell has announced a $99 prototype Moby tablet aimed at US students and to them offer real-time content, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3-D graphics capability full HD and full support of standard software such as Adobe Flash and Windows Mobile.

Marvell obviously have a very attractive price point and envisage electronic versions of textbooks being updated and refreshed continuously for a fraction of the cost of physical. They have announced a pilot program in partnership with the Washington, D.C., Public Schools, in which the company will donate a Moby tablet to every child in an at-risk school.

The Moby runs under Linux and faces its own battle with the iPad and Windows based tablets and also supporting legacy applications that don’t run under Linux, but it does comes at a price that is hard to resist.

We now start to see a ‘chicken an egg’ challenge. Will textbooks become fully digital first and devices merely rise to the demand and serve them up, or does every student need the device before they all the texbooks are in digital form?

It’s ironic that Marvel chose the same price point for the US student as OLPC did for the third world!

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