Awhile back I said India’s $35 tablet computer for students would never happen, but now I’m going to have to slather my words with curry and eat them. Although the specs have changed, the first 500 Aakash (meaning sky in Hindi) tablet computers have been distributed to students in India at no charge. British company Datawind assembles the tablets in India, and the first 100,000 units are estimated to cost the Indian government $50 apiece. The government plans to subsidize the cost so students and teachers can buy an Aakash for $35. Other consumers in India may eventually be able to buy a version of the tablet with an added modem and SIM card for $60 to $70.
Here are some specs on the first 500 tablets distributed yesterday:
- 7″ color screen (a resistive LCD display rather than a touch screen) with 800 x 480 resolution
- Android 2.2 Froyo OS
- 256 MB of RAM
- 32 GB flash memory
- Has either a 366 MHz or 660 MHz processor depending on who you ask (probably 366 MHz)
- Two USB ports
- Three-hour battery life
- Supports word processing and video conferencing
- Connects to the internet via wireless broadband (they hope to eventually add a mobile phone connection for internet access in rural areas)
- Does not include the solar-charging feature they originally intended.
- Its name sounds like slang for an awesome brick of hash, but do not attempt to smoke it; you’ll probably die.
None of this answers our most pressing question: can it run Angry Birds?
I want more like this!
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