It seems the troubled One Laptop Per Child project is suffering another blow with reports that the little laptop is not as robust as it should be.

The XO model, the first device from the organisation that wants to give children in the developing world a low cost laptop for educational reasons, has problems with its keyboard.

Although the "sealed, rubber-membrane keyboard" should be able to withstand the rigours of life and whatever its underage users can throw at it, it seems children are literally ripping it apart.

Despite the OLPC's claims that "the estimated product lifetime is at least five years. To help ensure such durability, the machines are being subjected to factory testing to destruction, as well as in situ field testing by children", reports are coming in that tears are developing in the keyboard's cover.

Users on the official forum for the OLPC project are complaining that splits in the rubber above the U and J keys then mean the entire keyboard can be swiftly demolished by 3- and 4-year-old fingers.

One users has posted: "My four-year old removed the U-key the same day we got the XO", while a similar story is told by another: "My 4-year-old grandson ... had his OLPC for 3 days before the rubber keycover was torn".

It seems the organisation has yet to respond to the complaints, although with forum comments like "OLPC, thanks for sending out tens of thousands of flawed machines", it could be suggested they will need to do so soon.