India Unveils Ultra-Cheap $60 Tablet For Students

The Indian government's Ministry of Human Development has made good on a promise from earlier this year to make an astoundingly cheap tablet computer available for students and rural Indians.

Engadget reports that the newly unveiled Aakash tablet, which comes in at $60.00 (Rs 2,999), is basically an Datawind Ubislate 7 running Froyo (Android), and packing a 366MHz Connexant CPU, 256MB of RAM, 2GB of storage and a 7-inch screen with 800 X 480 resolution. As expected from such a low-cost product, it's not a device designed for lengthy periods of uninterrupted use; the battery will last about 3 hours, long enough to take notes during classes or pass the time on one of India's infamous windy bus trips, but along with a 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi chip comes a GRPS modem able to connect to the internet via cellular service. So long as there's a cell phone tower nearby, even residents of India's isolated rural areas ought to be able to use it.

When initially announced over the summer, the tablet was set to cost $35.00, however, despite the massive percent price hike, it is still extremely affordable for millions that are otherwise priced out of portable computing devices. Currently, India has an extremely low population of Internet users, just under 12 percent of the population. Though extremely underpowered by comparison to iPad and its endless competitors, the tablet underscores the Indian government's commitment to heavily invest in the technological development of this still largely rural and deeply impoverished country.

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  • Most of the 12% are connected to the internet because they work at a call center.
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  • 12%?! Jeez, I knew they weren't a wealthy country, but that seems hard to believe. Maybe this will get more of them online.

    And maybe one of them can translate that ridiculous Thriller parody for us.
  • Wow?! It's very cheap, so cheap I want one just so I can play around with it or try to overclock it.
    You know you want to too...
  • Low power, but it's a very low cost as well. It's not meant for high-end use, but I'm sure those who need to type documents and such will be fine with it.

    "...largely rural and deeply impoverished country."

    Not necessarily. Yes, the country doesn't have many citizens with money to spend, but the country does have a successful economy that continues to grow, and some consider it's economy in better shape than the US'.