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.
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. 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?
Right now, only CoD (Cash on Delivery) is available for online purchase (of Aakash tablet), though UbiSlate 7 is not yet launched.
Aakash Tablet Specs
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 800×480 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.
OS: Android 2.2
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
In terms of review of Aakash tablet, remember that it only works over WiFi connectivity. Here is what we covered:
The screen is rather unresponsive. Sometimes I had to push the screen really hard to get a response.
It also heats up really fast. Which means in the heat and dust of India, it could face problems.
The tablet failed to install anything from the Android App Market.
In short, the tablet does perform what you would expect a Rs. 2,500 tablet to perform, but the key question is whether is this the most optimized definition of tablet (it surely is better than Infibeam Phi, which is still being sold at 5X price, loaded with Android 1.5!)?
Would you be interested in buying the Aakash tablet? Or pump in more money and go for a better version (Reliance tab)?