The Indian Government’s $35 ‘Aakash’ Tablet, which was launched for $47 (Rs 2250) in October, is now available for online purchase at Rs 2500 from Aakashtablet.com, reports OnlyGizmos. The report also points out that an upgraded version of the tablet, dubbed as Ubislate 7, will be available in late January 2012, and is currently available for pre-order.
Aakash Tablet: Aakash tablet, which the company is claiming as the student version of ‘Ubislate 7′, was designed, developed and manufactured by the Canadian based DataWind in collaboration with IIT Rajasthan, under the HRD Ministry’s National Mission on Education through Information & Communication Technology (NME-ICT). It runs on Android 2.2 and comes with a 7-inch screen, 366 Mhz Conexant processor with Graphics accelerator & HD Video processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal flash memory, External memory support of up to 32GB, 21oomAh battery, and WiFi connectivity. The tablet is also preloaded with its UbiSurfer browser which, according to the company, accelerates web pages by factors of 10x to 30x, and Nimbuzz instant messaging app.
The tablet can only be ordered from Aakashtablet.com and it will reportedly be shipped in a week’s time. The payment will happen through cash on delivery (CoD) with no pre-payments involved. Datawind states that this online availability is limited for individual buyers since it has already achieved pre-sale orders of about 400,000 tablets from individuals and corporates, and about 30,000 tablets are available for purchase at the moment, according to The Economic Times.
Ubislate 7: The commercially available mass market tablet which was earlier anticipated to be launched in November 2011, seems to have been pushed off to a January 2012 launch with a price tag of Rs 2,999. This tablet, according to the company, will be an upgraded version of the Aakash tablet and will feature a a newer Android version (Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’), better processor (700MHz), improved battery life (3200 mAh), SIM and phone functionality and support for Wi-Fi with GPRS. One can currently pre-book this tablet, following which a booking ID will be mailed to you.
Our take: Considering the huge difference in the specs between ‘Aakash Tablet’ and the ‘Ubislate 7′ for just an extra Rs 500, it would probably be better to wait for the launch of Ubislate 7. Also, we are quite surprised that there are no other payment options available, apart from Cash on Delivery to purchase the tablet, especially since that is a riskier, and more expensive proposition for Datawind. Why is Datawind retailing the tablet itself, instead of tying up with existing gadget retailers, which already have a distribution network in place?