Dubbed as the world’s cheapest tablet, previously known as ‘Sakshat’, now ‘Aakash‘ (student) or ‘Ubislate 7′ (commercial) was launched today on 6th October. HRD Minister Kapil Sibbal launched this much anticipated Indian made cheapest tablet in the world. It was presented to 500 students.
The launch has left the world abuzz and proved many major websites and people wrong who were touting it as impossible. It turns out that the Aakash is actually an Ubislate 7 from Datawind, a Canadian company (makers of the Pocketsurfer) developed in co-ordination with IIT Rajasthan.
700 new tablets will be manufactured daily with more companies expecting to join hand in manufacturing.
How to buy?
If you are a student:
According to the government press release, Aakash will be distributed to students through the institutions at which they are studying. So, the best way to find out about the exact availability of Aakash is to contact the student cell or Dean, Students’ Welfare. Government will be subsiding the student version of Aakash tablet. Students will be paying INR 2,200 rupees ($45). The Indian government negotiated a reduced price for the Aakash tablet by placing an order for 1 lakh (a hundred thousand) tablets. It turns out that the $35 (INR 1,750 ) price is real, but noone’s going to be getting it just yet. That price might happen in the future, but only after the India government places an order for 1 crore (a million) Aakash tablets
You might have to wait till January, as government will be releasing 100,000 Computer tablets by January 2011. The price for commercial will be INR 2,999. This retail version will be available via normal stores. The commercial version will have GPRS connectivity, which is absent from student version. Ubislate 7 buyers will be able to make calls using their tablets, which will not be an option in Aakash.
UbiSlate is slated be launched in four sizes – 3-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch and 8-inch along with a 2G SIM and an additional warranty. Further models may even have 3G modem and high speed processors.
- 7-inch 800 x 480 resistive touchscreen
- 366MHz Connexant CPU
- 256MB of RAM
- 2 GB of storage (expandable up-to 32GB via microSD)
- 802.11 a/b/g WiFi
- 2 USB 2.0 ports
- GPRS modem & SIM slot (Not available in student version)
- Mic & 3.5mm Jack
- Android 2.2 Froyo and the Getjar market
- DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP support and will come with PDF viewer, and Text editor installed. Ability to play HD videos!
- 2100 mAh battery, AC adapter 200-240 volt range.
The battery life is rated for a rather short three hours, and much less if you want to play HD video.
After buying the tablet, you will be able to access thousands of items of content available on the Sakshat portal and other educational web-sites. Government has also asked National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) to develop more content for the tablet. There will be no Android Market support but you will be able to download apps from appstores like Getjar, SlideMe and more.
Below you can see the device held snugly inside a Rs 300 ($7) keyboard folio.
You can order the commercial version of Aakash tablet here. We tried to order one but they simply replied that currently the tablet is not yet available.
Feeling Nostradamus, are we?
We predict that 366 MHz processor & Resistive touchscreen will really hamper the experience on this tablet. Though owing to its price, the tablet will enjoy moderate success.
Update: (14th oct. 2011)
DataWind has told us they are going to launch the commercial version, UbiSlate late november. The price of the UbiSlate will be under Rs. 3,000 as reported earlier. The tablet will be commercially sold by the telecom channel partners as of now. In exact words,
Please note that Commercial version of the UBISLATE tablet would be launched by late November. Thereafter you’ll be notified to contact the nearest dealer for the purchase of UBISLATE tablet. Yes, you can play HD videos.
The commercial version will now come in late January. The lower end version Aakash is now available.