Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Akash: The cheapest tablet PC launched in India

The cheapest tablet PC, Akash, was launched in India on October 6, 2011 by the Indian Telecom and Education minister, Kapil Sibal. It was made jointly by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Rajasthan at Jodhpur, and DataWind Ltd.

To remove computer illiteracy, the Indian government decided to launch cheap rated tablet devices for students. It will also increase the use of internet in India. At present, around 8% people have internet access in the second largest populous country which has 1.2 billion people.

According to the Indian Telecom and Education minister, Kapil Sibal, the price of the tablet PC is $35 for students and later it will be available in different stores for $60.

The Indian government has bought 100,000 tablets for $50 each. These initial devices will be distributed to students for free. According to various media reports, the first 500 have already handed over the students. The Indian government has singed a contract to buy more 8 to 10 millions of the devices by March 2012.

Akash has come with a 7-inch resistive touch screen with 480 × 800 pixels resolution. It will run on Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system. It also includes Conexant’s 366 Mhz Processor with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor.

Other features are 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage which can be extended up to 32GB via a microSD slot, 2 Standard USB ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a 2100 mAh battery that will provide almost three hours of battery life. It also includes WiFi and GPRS modem for internet connection.

If we compare this tablet PC with other tablet devices available in the market then we can find that its specifications don’t look that impressive.

Suneet Singh Tuli, DataWind CEO, said that their goal was to break the price barrier for computing and Internet access.