A “$35” computer launched last year in India as the world’s cheapest tablet has run into problems and companies will be invited to bid again to make the device after complaints of poor performance and hiccups rolling out a pilot model, Reuters reports. The government has hailed the Aakash tablet as an achievement of Indian frugal engineering that would end the digital divide in a country where only one in every 10 of its 1.2 billion people use the internet. Products such as Apple Inc’s iPad are beyond the reach even of many in the fast-growing middle class. The locally assembled machine has a cost price of around $50 and was to be sold to students by the government for $35. But only 10,000 units have been shipped since October……Read More
For readers who want to see the much-talked-about prototype of India’s $35 tablet computer in moving color, a gadget show on Indian television just featured an exclusive hands-on demonstration that could help dissipate some of the skepticism about the device, CNET reports. “Everybody actually said, ‘It cannot happen, a $35 tablet,’ and not only does it exist, it works and it works brilliantly,” said Rajiv Makhni, co-host of the show “Gadget Guru,” who took the computer through its paces with show cohort Vikram Chandra. The two then discussed all aspects of the gadget with Kapil Sibal, the country’s Minister for Human Resource Development, who officially unveiled the super-cheap touch-screen device. Aimed at the country’s students, it’s being called India’s answer to Nicholas Negroponte’s famed One Laptop Per Child computer. While originally presented as a Linux device, the prototype on the show runs on Android (and handles the operating system “fairly smoothly,” the surprised Gurus say). It has a virtual keyboard, camera, full video capability, Wi-Fi for browsing that the Gurus found to be “simple and quick,” an eReader, and 2GB RAM. They say the touch screen is a bit slow to respond. All in all, though, they call it a “fairly impressive little package,” particularly for the price, and a game changer for India and possibly beyond……Read More
It looks like an iPad, only it’s one-fourteenth the cost: India has unveiled the prototype of a $35 basic touch-screen tablet aimed at students, which it hopes to bring into production by 2011.
If the government can find a manufacturer, the Linux operating system-based computer would be the latest in a string of “world’s cheapest” innovations to hit the market out of India, which is home to the 100,000-rupee ($2,127) compact Nano car, the 749-rupee ($16) water purifier, and the $2,000 open-heart surgery.
The tablet can be used for functions like word processing, web browsing, and video conferencing. It has a solar-power option, too—important for India’s energy-starved hinterlands—although that add-on feature costs extra.…Read More