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Articles > Worlds cheapest tablet launched in india

Worlds cheapest tablet launched in india

NEW DELHI: India's finally got its much hyped ultra-low-cost tablet, Aakash. The government is buying the first units of the device for Rs 2250 each from a British company which is assembling the devices in India. They will initially be given to students for free in a pilot run of 100,000 units. 

"The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakashwill end that digital divide," Telecoms and Education Minister Kapil Sibal said. 

The tableta runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and comes with a 7-inch resistive touchscreen with 800x480 resolution and weighs 350 grams. The tablet has a 256MB of RAM, a 32GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports. 

The tablet comes with a 12-month replacement warranty and supports formats like DOC, DOCX, PDF and PPTX etc. Aakash has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The tablet has a 2100mAh battery which can reportedly last for 2-3 hours depending on the usage. The device is also said to be completely made in India, as according to a review, a sticker at the back emphasises the fact. Aakash also reportedly packs some pre-loaded apps, however, lacks the Android Market Place. 

DataWind, the British-based company that developed the tablet, said the cost would drop when mass production begins. The tablet will be commercially available from November for Rs 2999. The commercial version of the tablet would have no duty waivers or subsidy, as in the government's version and come with added features like an inbuilt cellular modem and SIM to access internet. 

Initial reactions to the Aakash were mixed, with the mainly middle-class technology department students at the event saying it needed refinement but was a good option for the poor. 

"It could be better," said Nikant Vohra, an electrical engineering student. "If you see it from the price only, it's okay, but we have laptops and have used iPads, so we know the difference." 

Some 19 million people subscribe to mobile phones every month, making India the world's fastest growing market, but most are from the wealthier segment of the population in towns. 

India lags behind fellow BRIC nations Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get its 1.2 billion population connected to technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones, according to a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft. 

The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010, according to another recent report. Still, just 8 per cent of Indians have access. That compares with nearly 40 per cent in China. 

Some 19 million people subscribe to mobile phones every month, making India the world's fastest growing market, but most are from the wealthier segment of the population in towns. 

 
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