Aakash-The Tablet of $35 !

Indian government’s ultra low-cost tablet ‘Aakash is finally in front of us. The official launch comes after nearly one year telecom minister Kapil Sibal flaunted a prototype of the device. Previously nicknamed as ‘Sakshat’, the Aakash is being touted as the “world’s cheapest tablet”.  The tablet is considered to be a significant accomplishment for the government, which believes the device will bridge the gap between the rural India and the ongoing technology boom in the country

The ‘Aakash’ is an Android-based tablet computer designed and developed by DataWind primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. It is manufactured in India as a low cost but full functioning device in order to attempt to bridge the digital divide. The commercial version of the tablet will be retailed under the brand name UbiSlate 7.

 

Availability: The government will roll out 100,000 units of the Aakash tablet initially.  The details of the availability of the device are bit sketchy. The government says it will distribute the device to students through the institutions they are studying. So, best way to find out exact availability of Aakash tablet is to contact your concerned department of your college/institution.

Commercially, the device will be launched in November. Pre-booking for the Aakash tablet (retail version is known as UbiSlate) has already started. For more info on pre-booking,

The original prototype was unveiled in 2010, purported as a “$35 laptop”. The device was formally launched on 5 October 2011 as Aakash, made by the London-based manufacturing company DataWind.  Aakash will be assembled at DataWind’s new production centre in the southern city of Hyderabad. Initially, the device will be sold to the Government of India at $50. It is expected to be sold for $60 in the retail stores.

The device has been developed as part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology that aims to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities on the subcontinent in an e-learning program via an existing Sakshat portal.

Features: The Aakash tablet comes with a seven-inch 800×400 resistive touchscreen. It runs on Android 2.2 Froyo OS and is powered by 366 MHz + HD video co-processor. For connectivity, it has an inbuilt WiFI support and can connect a datacard for 3G and GPRS connectivity. The device comes with a 2GB of storage memory, which can be extended up to 32GB via microSD. It has a 256 MB RAM. The device supports document formats: DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP and can run PDF viewer, Text editor. It has a 2,100 mAh battery which is promised to give 3 hours of backup depending upon usage

 

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