Not many people bother to read details of research data for some critical in-depth analysis. OLPC and the XO laptops were designed for children who have no computer access for joyful self-directed learning. I care about fluid intelligence which is important for young children who are growing up fast. The evidences I found so far support this impact when we sieve out other variables and as the right questions.
"There were positive impacts on the Raven's Progressive Matrices test among children who did not have a home computer before the intervention, but no significant effects for the sample as a whole"
Some positive effects are found, however, in general cognitive skills as measured by Raven’s Progressive Matrices, a verbal fluency test and a Coding test.
This support my observations working with the poor children as a Psychologist who does intellectual evaluation on both rich and poor children. Learning/play tools make a difference in cognitive stimulation and learning.
On a personal note till today I have yet to see a better alternative to the XO laptops. There are many ways to cook something .... with different impact on our taste bugs. Perhaps something will be in preparation for basecamps olpc 2.015 if people are willing to dine, celebrate and work harder.
XO4All as it will be 10 years this year in Nov :-)