India today launched a low-cost internet access-cum-computing device to usher in a digital revolution and further the government's drive towards digital literacy.
Union minister for human resourced development launched the device, 'Aakash', costing $35 a piece and distributed it among 500 children on the occasion.
But the much-touted low-cost tablet is manufactured by DataWind, a wireless web access products maker based in Montreal. The tablet has a 7-inch display with 800x480 pixel resolution, 256MB of RAM, 2GB flash storage, and a 366MHz processor from Connexant. The tablet runs the Android 2.2 operating system.
The tablet, including local sales taxes, performance guarantees, and a replacement warranty costs $50 to the government, according to Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind, which supplies the devise in India.
Once demand and volume picks up DataWind expects the price, including warranty, to come down to $35 levels.
The devise that can withstand temperatures of up to 48 degree Celsius (118 degree Fahrenheit) has been developed with support from the Indian Institute of Technology.
The company hopes to execute the first order of 100,000 units from a factory in Hyderabad over the next six weeks. The government is expected to buy 8-10 million units of the device by 31 March 2012.
The low-cost tablet, unveiled by the government on 22 July 2010, was expected to cost "around $35". The lowest bidder quoted an ex-factory price of $37.98, which was close to the cost mentioned by the human resources ministry. This cost comprised of cost of components and material as well as manufacturing expenses. The final landed price of $49.98 per unit (which translated to Rs2,276 at the exchange rate at the time of the order) included taxes, levies, and charges like freight and insurance, servicing and documentation etc. The landed price also includes one-year free replacement warranty from the manufacturer.
This price, however, does not include any subsidy from the government and is a price that has been arrived at following a commercial tender process. The government will also be providing price subsidy to the students on the device.
Aakash UbiSlate 7 Specifications
- Processor: 366 Mhz 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: WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g
- Power and Battery: Up to 180 minutes on battery. AC adapter 200-240 volt range.
- 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
Separate application for online YouTube video
Safety and other standards compliance
- CE certification / RoHS certification
Other: Additional Web Browser: UbiSurfer-Browser with compression/acceleration and IE8 rendering.