An application developer can do most of their work on any system, especially if they are using the OLPC Python Environment. There are a number of low-power laptops or thin-clients being introduced into the market that are superficially similar to an OLPC-XO.
If you like, you could use one of these platforms for development, though as of 2007-12-15, we don't see any compelling reason to recommend doing so, unless your goal is to port the environment to the platform.
While this porting might be useful and meritorious, such porting is not considered a core goal of the project. At the moment we simply do not have the resources to support Sugar running on other platforms, so expending core development resources on porting to such platforms doesn't yet make sense.
To be a reasonable port, you will likely need to form a sub-community which can commit to supporting the port for use by large numbers of users. That will likely require commitments of commercial support from someone, somewhere.
Examples of Low Power Laptops:
- Flepo Mini PC1 (2012: all urls return: Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)
- NTAVO Thin Client (PuppyLinux)
- Ndiyo Nivo