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2.15 pm, Nov 30 Nov 30, 2012

Is the Aakash-2 tablet all hype or is there some substance to it?

United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki moon has launched the Aakash 2 tablet at the UN headquarters. The tablet 'Aakash -2' was launched in October last year by the government to make available computing devices to students at subsidised rates. Here's your chance to interact with Tech Guru Ankit Vengurlekar on this development.
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14 questions answered | 4 questions pending
  • Why did it get it's name as Aakash 2 ?? what happened to aakash 1 ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Aakash 1 was sort of a field trial I suppose, to gauge the demand, real word performance and take all these learnings back to the drawing board. It helped datawind re-assess the actual usage and customize the next version. And remember Moore's law? :)
  • What sort of innovation has gone into Aakash -2 apart from negotiating rates from the supplier? Asked by: Rajeev
  • Ankit Vengurlekar If one looks at the hardware, its pretty standard in terms of the Tech. One of the biggest USPs of Aakash is clearly its price point and the specific demographic i.e students that its built to focus on.
  • i am a 3rd year B.Tech student at a private university! Can i expect this device at subsidised rate ? Asked by: Ritesh Arora
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Well, I don't suppose Engineering colleges are a part of the educational institutions that will see an Aakash deployment yet. Anyone can buy the retail version of the device for 4500 rupees.
  • Is it the cost or the technical aspects which makes this a one to be hyped about ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Cost, Technical specifications and the fact that this is one of the world's largest tech deployment initiative, if not the biggest. :) And if you get the chance, you should really take the time out to travel to obscure towns and villages where students in Municipality run schools, who've never seen a computer are starting a new relationship with technology through these devices :)
  • Why datawind is using media and Govt for advertising. They used Quad electronics,VMC and now they are buying complete product from china off the shelf.Why no one validates? Asked by: raja
  • Ankit Vengurlekar I don't understand your hypothesis that Datawind is 'using' the Indian Govt. It has won a contract from the GOI. WRT the China claim, like I replied to Sunder, Does it matter to the end consumer, I don't think so. As long as the device works, has decent after sales support, the place of origin doesn't matter to me.
  • Why is it being rumoured that Aakash 2 is china made assembled IN INDIA ? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Does it matter to the end consumer, I don't think so. As long as the device works, has decent after sales support. How does it matter if its made in Tamil Nadu, Guangdong or Gangnam! :)
  • Do you think it is fast and smooth? What are the Tech Specs? Thanks Asked by: Vijay
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Android 4.0.3 ice cream sandwich 3000 mAh li-po battery CPU ARM 11 Cortex A8 @ 1000 MHz processor Storage capacity: Internal: 2 GB flash External: 2 to 32 GB microSD slot Memory 512 MB RAM Display 800 × 480 7 in (18 cm) diagonal Sound Built in microphone; stereo earphones; 3.5mm jack Camera Front VGA and dual camera Touchpad Capacitative Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) GSM/EDGE
  • the hype created by the Launch at Rashtrapathy Bhavan and UN will be sustained ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Ankit Vengurlekar The real litmus test is when Aakash 2 reaches the hands and classrooms of the millions of students that are promised this revolutionary device. The early reports look promising, I've spoken with a couple of teachers and they find it extremely useful.
  • I havent seen anyone using Aakash 1 tablet, am surprised to see announcement of Aakash 2??? Asked by: Kiran_KK
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Hehe :) Aakash 1 was sort of a field trial I suppose, to gauge the demand, real word performance and take all these learnings back to the drawing board. It helped datawind re-assess the actual usage and customize the next version. And remember Moore's law? :)
  • MP's get Rs.50000 to get ipads why can't the govt spend little more to offer students a tablet like Kindle Fire which has more capablities? Asked by: Harish
  • Ankit Vengurlekar There is always scope to do more in the public sector Harish, but lets applaud the manufacturer Datawind and the Govt. of India for getting this off the boardrooms and getting actual real-world devices in the hands of students and teachers. When one draws a parallel to countries in the West that have ipads in schools and universities, one conveniently forgets that we are an extremely young Computer country, our computer litearcy rate is abysmal. Baby steps like Aakash, and in a country the size of India, even a baby step is a Goliath one, are changing the landscape. the choice is ours, Encourage or rant.
  • Is the Aakash-2 tablet all hype? Asked by: Tiger
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Hype for a good gadget and a good cause, now thats a good formula, isn't it? :)
  • Hi Ankit - I believe its an achievement .But lets not overdo the "cheapest thing" advertisement..Aakash has a cause - to enrich the lives of school children who cannot afford an apple/orange/carrot..Aakash should receive recognition for its core intent and not competitive product strategy.. Asked by: Paresh UAE
  • Ankit Vengurlekar I completely agree with you paresh, maybe thats why it got an ovation at the UN headquarters yesterday :)
  • why is there no comparision of Aakash 2 to other budget tabs available anywhere on the net?? Asked by: Rahul jain
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Haha, Rahul thats like asking why is there no Comprison of the Tata Nano with any other car in the market on any site! That wouldn't be fair, thats why! Like Nano, Aakash is a unique proposition, custom made for a particular demographic and for a specific functionality iu.e education.
  • The subsidy by GOI is further to the many existing,which the GOI says is becoming unbearable.Was it necessary on this ?? Asked by: sundar1950in
  • Ankit Vengurlekar Well, one look at the Fiscal deficit and one completely understands what you're trying to say, but aren't we glad this project has taken off, albeit with extremely limited implementation right now.

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Ankit Vengurlekar
Anchor & Special Correspondent, Technology, CNBC Awaaz