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World's cheapest tablet to launch in India

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October 10, 2011

India finally managed to launch probably world's cheapest 7-inch touchscreen tablet dubbed...

India finally managed to launch probably world's cheapest 7-inch touchscreen tablet dubbed Aakash, or 'sky' in Hindi

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India has already churned out the world's cheapest car and is now launching what's billed as the world's cheapest 7-inch touchscreen tablet. The result of efforts by India's Ministry of Human Resource and Development to develop a low cost computing device that could be used by students across the country, Aakash, or "sky" in Hindi, is set to be sold to students at the government subsidized price of US$35. The regular retail price of the tablet is expected to be around US$60 when the unit hits the shelves as a commercial version called the UbiSlate 7.

Running Android 2.2 Froyo (which is actually not a tablet-friendly platform), Aakash comes with 7-inch 800 x 480 resistive multi-touch touchscreen, with connectivity courtesy of 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi, GPRS modem, two full-sized USB ports and 3.5mm jack. Processing is provided by a 366MHz CPU with graphics accelerator and HD video processor, and 256MB of DDR2 memory. Due to its budget specs, Aakash will certainly not handle numerous processing-hungry apps and multimedia, but it should be sufficient for basic use.

The tablet comes with 2 GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via micro SD cards of up to 32GB, and the Aakash's 2100 mAh battery lasts for up to three hours. The tablet comes with a number of pre-installed apps, such as the UbiSurfer web browser, and a YouTube app. There's no Android Market access, although users should be able to download and install apps via third-party app stores.

While products such as the iPad are too expensive for most of India's 1.2-billion population, the country's number of Internet users grew 15-fold over the years from 2000 to 2010. Still, 92 percent of Indian society remains without network access, Reuters reports. Aakash aims at changing these figures to end the "digital divide." It's been tailored particularly for university students for learning online via a government platform which offers electronic books and courses.

Developed by London-based company DataWind in cooperation with the Indian Institute of Technology, the Aakash tablet will initially be handed out to 100,000 Indian students for free as part of a pilot run. Commercial launch is expected in November.

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8 Comments

This tablet does not have enough battery life, RAM, or precessing speed for my needs. But that is probably because it is intended for use by poor Indian children and people who would not otherwise have access to a computer, which is why the indian government is subsidizing it.

Oztechi
10th October, 2011 @ 11:26 pm PDT

Amazing price. The next step are networked educational apps that can track progress and allow for collaberative learning. Very cool.

William Volk
11th October, 2011 @ 09:08 am PDT

This is actually something I might use...especially if it's ruggedized...which, since it's designed for kids in poor villages, wouldn't be unreasonable to expect. 3hr battery is disappointing, but otherwise it sounds like an adequate little ebook/surfing platform. Too bad it's so small and is at least initially shipping with what sounds like a platform hostile OS.

I DO approve of the fact that they're going to release it into the wild as well. Finally someone who gets the fact that making it available to consumers in the developed countries is a good thing...and hey, it's not vapor ware like the sub-$50 slate or dying like the sub-$100 laptop.

Bryan Paschke
11th October, 2011 @ 09:23 am PDT

Time to upgrade from my 486DX computer! Sure has more computing power than what I'm used to.

Matt Rings
11th October, 2011 @ 10:33 am PDT

There are still cheapier tablets being made in china with better specs... I found a lot of 1000 tablet for 19 dollars each... free shipping no less! 800MHz processor and android 2.2.

Mack McDowell
11th October, 2011 @ 08:30 pm PDT

i am totally happy for every student what gets a tablet without putting the parents in a too much of a financial stress ... what puzzles me why for example google does not start a campaign inviting all kind of companies to buy cheap chinese tablets in bulk ...and send some company members once a year for some combined hollyday/charity action to help the students how to operate them, installing wifi networks and so on ....

i would say, when orders being placed of 100 000 or so ... prices can go down more than to a third of the price when ordering just 10 pieces ... just guessimating ... a little search brought me to some candidate tablets for such an adventure

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/462979670/7_android_2_2_tablet_pc.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/474577317/ZX_MD13_7_inch_widescreen_cheapest.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/469988187/froyo_tablet_pc_camera_android_2.html

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/384620980/7_Inch_Tablet_PC.html

not that this is an all new idea ... we certainly know http://one.laptop.org/ and their plans for the near future to release an xo tablet ....

Andreas Buechel
12th October, 2011 @ 02:27 am PDT

vaper-ware !!!!!

Allen Lumley
12th October, 2011 @ 03:09 pm PDT

Here is the list of ICS best top low cost tablets in india:

www.techdiscussion.in/index.php?topic=579.0

Sejal Malik
6th April, 2012 @ 09:12 am PDT
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