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The battery in our OLPC XO review sample was a 4-cell 3,100mAh LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) unit, although 5-cell nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) are also used. Among the advantages of lithium iron phosphate are the absence of heavy metals and the ability to support more charge/discharge cycles than conventional Li-ion cells (OLPC quotes 2,000 in this case). Battery life figures vary, but in our simple rundown tests we got around 3.5 hours with the screen backlight on (colour/transmissive mode) and 4.5 hours with the backlight off (greyscale/reflective mode).
The Intel Classmate's battery is not designed to be easily removed — you need to undo four screws to get the protective cover off and two more to release the battery itself. Having done this, you discover a bulky and relatively weighty 6-cell 4,000mAh Li-ion unit. Intel claims around four hours' usage for the Classmate on battery power: this seems optimistic in our experience, although we have yet to formally test this.
The Eee has the most compact battery pack, a 4-cell 4,400mAh Li-ion unit for which ASUS claims 2.8 hours' life, which seems reasonable in our (so far anecdotal) experience.
The OLPC XO's motherboard, which is built into the back of the screen lid, uses an AMD Geode LX700 processor running at 433MHz. The PCI and memory interfaces (North Bridge) are built into the CPU, as is the graphics controller. The South Bridge chip, which includes controllers for audio, hard disk, USB and power management, is the AMD Geode CS5536. There is 256MB of RAM and 1GB of solid-state storage. Extra storage can be added via the SD card slot.
Intel's Classmate is built around the 90nm Celeron M Ultra Low Voltage 353 processor running at 900MHz. It has a 400MHz frontside bus linking it to the Mobile Intel 915GMS Express chipset, which includes the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 graphics module. Like the OLPC, the Classmate has a moderate 256MB of RAM, but Intel's system has double the solid-state storage capacity of the OLPC XO at 2GB. Again, there's an SD card slot for storage expansion.
In passing, it's worth noting that Intel clearly does not expect the average user to modify or otherwise tinker with the Classmate's innards: to expose the motherboard for the above picture, we had to remove more than 20 screws and detach the screen — a process that took the best part of an hour.