The much awaited India’s ultra low cost Aakash tablet is finally here and is creating ripples all around. Datawind launched Ubislate7 in India, and the student version is named as the Aakash tablet. It offers a web delivery platform that enables quality and interactive knowledge over the internet.
We covered the announcement of Aakash/Ubislate7 tablet before. As you might know,the Lower version aka ‘Aakash’ Tablet includes an Arm11 – 366Mhz Processor, 2100 mAh battery, Android 2.2 and Wifi connectivity at a price of just INR 2500/- . This has gone on sale now with orders being delivered within 7 days. Please note that the Cash On delivery option is also available.
However, the higher version aka Ubislate 7, the higher end brother with a Cortex A8 – 700 Mhz processor, 3200 mAh battery, Android 2.3 along with WiFI and GPRS + with a SIM slot will go on sale for just Rs. 499 more at INR 2999/-. It comes with a headphone/mic plus integrated speaker.
We will recommend you to wait for the higher end one since 366 MHz is really a deal-breaking feature. Plus, the Sim slot is a must seeing the excellent(!) wifi conditions in India.
There has been much fanfare and buzz surrounding the launch of Aakash Tablet. Luckily author of Hungry N Foolish managed to get hands on with the device.
First glance: Impressive. The device is black in colour on all sides. Actually, black is the only colour the device is going to be maufactured in. There are absolutely no buttons anywhere on the front side except for a thin elongated one at the left end. This single button is used for multiple purposes such as sleep mode deactivation and navigating back to desktop. If you hold it up for a few seconds it’ll display options of switching to: previous folder, recent places you visited or the desktop.
The overall look is aesthetically clean and pleasing to the eye. The back side which as of now is covered with stickers of Aakash and Datawind maufacturers, has a speaker output and a tiny reset button hole. The screen is protected by a dual layer of plastic, possibly for reducing the gloss. Continue reading →
Media seems to love tagging India as the “cheapest market”, especially after the launch of Tata Nano. It turns out that indeed, Aakash is the cheapest tablet in the world!!
A little googling will reveal many similar devices within this price range and with a little price much better specs.
There is a seven-inch tablet running Android 2.2 OS with an 800 MHZ Cortex-A8 processor, 256 MB RAM and 2GB hard drive, built-in camera at a price of $ 39.71. Check out the product here. But to ship in India it will need a hefty $ 70 more.
And if you slightly go up, you have Maxtouch 7inch Tablet PC.
And as you have guessed already,the Chinese aren’t far behind. There a number of Chinese companies offering tablets running various Android versions with better processors between the price range of $40-50.
The Ifs & Buts!
The major point of debate surrounding the launch and probably even in the coming months would be its screen – which is TFT resistive unlike other higher end tablets which have a capacitive touch screen. So, the feather like movements in a capacitive screen that the smartphone and tablet users have got accustomed to, won’t be possible with Aakash.
It turns out that the price for a resistive screen when imported in the quantity that the government required came about $4 each. Whereas, the same would have gone upto $22 if capacitive ones were used instead.
However, the Datawind team reportedly is working on creating economical capacitive touch screens which when manufactured in large quantities would almost cost the same as the resistive ones.
We would love to see the Aakash tablet upgraded with these:
A better processor (say 600 Mhz)
The point is, perhaps the specifications and technology for the Aakash tablet could have been better, especially when you count the exemptions of duty and other benefits that would have been applied to the $35 project. But no need for complains!!
We have already ordered this wonderful $35 gadget. Keep checking to stay updated.
Dubbed as the world’s cheapest tablet, previously known as ‘Sakshat’, now ‘Aakash‘ (student) or ‘Ubislate7′ (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)
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.