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Not Sakshat, India launches Aakash, the cheapest tablet PC around

IBNLive.com
Oct 05, 2011 at 05:35pm IST

New Delhi: The much awaited India's ultra-low-cost tablet is finally here. The much talked-about $35 tablet has been branded Aakash, and not Sakshat as reported earlier.

The initial cost at which the government is acquiring one lakh units the tablet PC from DataWind is Rs 2250 per unit. The target price at which the government intends to acquire an additional 1 crore units is the previously publicised Rs 1750 per unit.

Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a 366 Mhz processor the 7-inch tablet has a resistive touch screen. The Aakash tablet is in fact DataWind's UBISlate 7 tablet. Weighing 350 grams the tablet has 256MB RAM and an internal storage of 2GB Flash memory.

The tablet will also be commercially available from November at a price of Rs 2999. A cellular modem will be the additional feature in the commercial model. Some units of the tablet PC were also distributed to the students present at the launch event in New Delhi. The device will initially be made available to post-secondary students.

The Aakash tablet also has support for Wi-Fi connectivity and includes a microphone and stereo earphones. The tablet also comes with a 12-month replacement warranty. The device was first showcased in back in July 2010. The tablet supports additional external memory up to 32 GB and includes an USB port.

A keyboard portfolio case for the tablet will also be made available during the commercial launch at an additional cost of Rs 300.

India trails 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, a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft said this year.

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.

The launch last week of Amazon's Kindle Fire shook up the global tablet market, with its $199 price tag and slick browser a serious threat to Apple's iPad.

Like the Kindle Fire, the Aakash uses the Google Android operating system, but market watchers were sceptical the Indian-made device will have mass appeal.

Specifications:

Hardware:

- Processor: 366 Mhz. Connexant with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor

- Memory (RAM): 256MB RAM / Storage (Internal): 2GB Flash

- Storage (External): 2GB to 32GB Supported

- Peripherals (USB2.0 ports, number): 1 Standard USB port

- Audio out: 3.5mm jack / Audio in: 3.5mm jack

- Display and Resolution: 7" display with 800x480 pixel resolution

- Input Devices: Resistive touch screen

- Connectivity and Networking: GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g

- Power and Battery: Up to 180 minutes on battery. AC adapter 200-240 volt range.

Software:

- OS: Android 2.2

- Document Rendering

* Supported Document formats: DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP

* PDF viewer, Text editor

- Multimedia and Image Display

* Image viewer supported formats: PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF

* Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA

* Supported video formats: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV

- Communication and Internet

* Web browser - Standards Compliance: xHTML 1.1 compliant, JavaScript 1.8 compliant

* Separate application for online YouTube video

- Safety and other standards compliance

* CE certification / RoHS certification

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