Finally, the much awaited tablet, that Kapil Sibal promised, has been launched as 'Akash' for $60 (~Rs. 3000) in India. Akash tablet has been jointly developed by India along with Britain based company Data Wind. The tablet will run Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) and features 7" LCD screen that operates at 800x480 resolution. The tab has 256 MB RAM and 32GB expandable memory slot along with two USB ports. The Akash tablet will ship with 12 month of replacement warranty. The software supports popular file formats like .doc, .docx, .pdf, .pptx. As we guessed in our earlier post, Akash has 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.
Akash Tablet - World's Cheapest Tablet For Rs. 3000
The 2100 mAh battery will last for about 3 hours depending upon usage. There are few pre-loaded apps. Unfortunately the tablet won't be able to download apps from the Android market place. The tablet will be priced at Rs. 3000 and expected to hit the retail stores in November 2011. The Indian Government will acquire the tablet from Data Wind for about Rs. 2250 and make it available to post-secondary school students in the first phase. In case you're wondering, yes the tablet has GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g.
While the tablet looks quite attractive from the price point, we have our own doubts about its public acceptance. Only having a digital device isn't going to add value to learning. The Government needs to support it with infrastructure and Wi-Fi is still a distant dream for many places in India. What's your opinion about Akash?
Akash Tablet Review Summary (Updated)
For Busy People: Quality comes at a price.
For The Rest Of Us: We like the price. Everyone does and it's evident from your comments below. What if the hardware & software that you invested your money in does not live up to your expectations? The presence of two USB ports would make lot of students joyous but we don't see any of its use beyond copying music & videos to your tablet. Of course you can plug-in a keyboard in your tablet and do some serious work. Plus the tablet ships with Facebook app - which will definitely make you forget that this tablet is actually intended to aid you get more marks in exam. The biggest drawbacks of this tablet, in our opinion are -
1. The unresponsive screen (We live in iPad times, right?)
2. Tablet heats up fast! Maybe IIT guys should have worked on heat-sink.
3. Only Wi-Fi connectivity. No 3G. That means, the classrooms will have to be equipped with wireless routers.
4. Tablet does not install anything from Android App market! Holy crap!
Tell us how many of you still want to buy Aakash tablet?