India finally launches $35 Tablet Computer for Rural Poor

About an year after unveiling it, India has finally launched its $35 or approximately Rs 1700 tablet, named Aakash (meaning Sky).

Aakash tablet specs:

At the time of unveiling the tablet last year, the specs were hailed as pretty good, like a 10-inch touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, USB and Wi-Fi built in, plus a Linux OS shipping with OpenOffice, a PDF reader, web browser, video chat app, and media player. Now about an year later, the Aakash tablet has specs different from the one pitched last year.

The final specs of Aakash tablet, developed by UK company DataWind but assembled in India, are:

1) Runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System.

2) Has a 7-inch resistive display (800 x 480)

3) 256MB RAM

4) 32 GB Internal storage

5) Connectivity options include two USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in Wi-Fi to access internet.

6) A 2100mAh battery life which lasts for only 3 hours

7) No access to the Android Market.

8) Serving its main purpose of education, Aakash is compatible with .DOC, .DOCX, .PPTX, and .PDF formats.

For just Rs 1700, one can’t expect to get a tablet comparable to Apple’s iPad. Hence if the tablet manages to perform its designated tasks satisfactorily, then the deal is not bad. Notably, a consumer version of the tablet will also be available next month for $60 (Rs 3000) with the added bonus of a SIM card slot allowing for mobile Internet access.

Price & Availability: To begin with, 100,000 units of the tablet have been ordered by the Government of India. These tablets will be given to students for free. If the initial lot satisfies the users, then more tablets in greater quantities will be ordered; so that Aakash can be sold at previously promised $30 mark or possibly even lower.


No comments