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India Unveils Ultra-Cheap $60 Tablet For Students

By - Source: Engadget | B 29 comments

Sure, it was originally priced at $35, but students should be used to sudden price hikes by now.

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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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Azn Cracker , October 5, 2011 11:48 PM
    Most of the 12% are connected to the internet because they work at a call center.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    Thunderfox , October 5, 2011 11:21 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , October 5, 2011 11:21 PM
    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...
  • 0 Hide
    noob_33 , October 5, 2011 11:24 PM
    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'.
  • 7 Hide
    slicedtoad , October 5, 2011 11:35 PM
    Thunderfox12%?! 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.

    maybe only 12% but thats 12% of a billion people.
  • 8 Hide
    noob_33 , October 5, 2011 11:44 PM
    slicedtoadmaybe only 12% but thats 12% of a billion people.

    +1 to that. Twelve percent of India is about half the population of the US. It's a decent number at best :\
  • 16 Hide
    Azn Cracker , October 5, 2011 11:48 PM
    Most of the 12% are connected to the internet because they work at a call center.
  • 6 Hide
    aftcomet , October 6, 2011 12:43 AM
    Does rural India even have electricity?
  • 7 Hide
    halcyon , October 6, 2011 1:04 AM
    Azn CrackerMost of the 12% are connected to the internet because they work at a call center.


    That's just wrong. ...but it funny hell. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 6, 2011 3:09 AM
    aftcometDoes rural India even have electricity?

    Well, rural India has electricity, just not 24 hrs. As a matter of fact, in many villages, it is only for 5-6 hrs a day.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 6, 2011 3:26 AM
    Good product for India's current situation. Sure, not cutting edge stuff but I'm sure many are just happy (or bewildered) to have this kind of stuff.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 6, 2011 4:14 AM
    I can consider to get it though... if its available on time in the local market. Things in India are far too complicated with the govt...
  • 3 Hide
    alyoshka , October 6, 2011 4:19 AM
    This so called promise from earlier this year was actually a promise from more then 7 years ago. By a different govt. and different minister. The deal didn't work out cos the PC was from Intel at that time and the Minister could not cut a deal with them to take half the cash back home instead of letting the rural kids get that stuff, so the deal went sour.
    Now a new minister with a new company has the people sucking up to him with the same old stuff.
    This has got to be the most ridiculous thing ever. Actual stats are:
    65 Million Active internet users at any given time, 61 Million Regular users out of which 46 Million are urban and 16 Million are Rural users. The Census also say 4 in Every 5 people in India are daily internet users.... :) 
    This is another stupid Govt Scam working hand in hand with a company to siphon funds in the name of Rural Education.
    50% of the people in Rural India can't use a calculator. Forget a tablet. even if it reaches them , it's going to be lying on the top of their refrigerators with the whole family and neighbors sitting around it and looking at the 7 inch massive screen ( cos the last one they saw in monochrome was the one on their cell phone) waiting for the channel to change.
    Guy!! The day I get a snap of this sort of a scene , I'm going to post it online.
  • -1 Hide
    medhavi272 , October 6, 2011 5:47 AM
    Well to be clear this is a tablet not for stuff like HD Gaming or something else,but is for those graduates and postgraduates to help them in the studies ( ie by certain self developed android app ) and if u look at it that way its a way to spread interactive education (and that is what is currently the most major issue in human resource sector all over the world ).
    And to many others INDIA is he worlds 4th richest country !!! XOXO
  • 0 Hide
    medhavi272 , October 6, 2011 5:50 AM
    Thunderfox12%?! 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.

    well INDIA has the 2nd best growth rate after China, Is the worlds 4th richest country, and will be the 2nd most richest country by 2030,
    Quote:
    ie if there is no end of the world in 2012
    :D 
  • 0 Hide
    ksampanna , October 6, 2011 6:13 AM
    The author paints the picture of India as if it were some barren wasteland deep into the Sahara. Sure we have our problems but still, we are the world's 2nd fastest growing & 4th largest economy, poised to overtake the US by the first half of this century
  • 0 Hide
    ksampanna , October 6, 2011 6:18 AM
    Not to mention that the recession did not affect us at all nor the debt crisis persistant worldwide.
  • 1 Hide
    achilles01 , October 6, 2011 6:46 AM
    Deeply Impoverished country??..the unqualified comment was uncalled for....the west seem not to disentangle itself from its oriental poverty stricken illusions about India. (many west countries are no better) We have grown leaps and bounds in last 2 decades and in all probability will continue growing much faster (for an economy of the size) in future too. I have lived in what is GEN Y, the mid 1980s till now, the transformation of India to say the least has been astounding.
  • 0 Hide
    mailpranshu , October 6, 2011 7:27 AM
    Its okay mate....bet all the users here still picture China as kung fu only and India as a place of elephants and snake charmers.
    There is a fundamental change happening all over the world. The Chinese and the Indians are not going to bail the US out this time if it falls( example the $1.3 trillion US bonds China bought in 2008). Nor will Germany. They have enough problems with Europe as it is.
    And I invite any one to come to any small town or city here as well. Indian users pay less than $25 per month for basic 1 Mbps unlimited connections.Its dirt cheap as it is.
    This tablet is meant to make deeper online inroads. Not play Dead Space on!!!!!!
    And scary fact again. Everything you are working on to type and see this text has been designed in India and made in China.( AMD/Intel + Mo-Bo/Ram/GPU)
  • 1 Hide
    theuniquegamer , October 6, 2011 8:00 AM
    I have seen it . It looks good .Well its only @ $22 or 1100 INR for students in our state.
  • 2 Hide
    coolestcarl , October 6, 2011 9:14 AM
    Note to Indians (or folks of Indian heritage):

    The fact that you have access to the internet means you are in the groups of elite who have connectivity. Sociological studies show that the people you personally keep company with tend to be of similar social and economic standing. Its only natural then to assume that your experiences generally represent your distorted vision of reality. Sure 12% is 120 million people. I am willing to bet most of your friends will be within that 120 million people. A large pot to choose from.

    Being an Indian myself and having lived in a village for 4 years, I know first hand the reality faced by the vast (Colossal) number of Indians who live in abject poverty (in the slums and on the street). SO DO NOT EVEN THINK TO DEFEND India's honor on poverty by saying we the second biggest economy etc.

    The rampant corruption of government ministers and the wholesale stealing of tax payer wealth to accrue influence and power in a very wealthy country does not make it great. IN FACT IT MAKES IT AN ABSOLUTE SHAME. It makes it an absolute shame that despite the wealth HUNDREDS of millions still live in abject poverty. It is in fact a crime of incredible proportions worse than terrorism.

    ksampannaThe author paints the picture of India as if it were some barren wasteland deep into the Sahara. Sure we have our problems but still, we are the world's 2nd fastest growing & 4th largest economy, poised to overtake the US by the first half of this century

    The fact that Indian is enormously naturally wealthy and not a sub Saharan wasteland makes it an even more despicable crime.

    medhavi272well INDIA has the 2nd best growth rate after China, Is the worlds 4th richest country, and will be the 2nd most richest country by 2030,

    achilles01Deeply Impoverished country??..the unqualified comment was uncalled for....the west seem not to disentangle itself from its oriental poverty stricken illusions about India. (many west countries are no better) We have grown leaps and bounds in last 2 decades and in all probability will continue growing much faster (for an economy of the size) in future too. I have lived in what is GEN Y, the mid 1980s till now, the transformation of India to say the least has been astounding.

    India has come a long way for sure in leaps and bounds. But it still has a long way to go before it can be compared to living standards in mature (developed) economies. Its not about GDP, but about living standards.

    Knowledge is power. To that end the "cheap" tablet will help the rural areas gain access to the wealth of information that is available on the internet and give them the tools needed to revolutionize rural India. They can organize and stand up against those in authority who seek to suppress them.

    alyoshkaThis is another stupid Govt Scam working hand in hand with a company to siphon funds in the name of Rural Education.

    And yes it more than likely another large orchestrated government scam like the bailout for financial bigwigs in the UK and US or the Obama's Stimulus bill 1.0, 2.0 and 2.5 beta . But I am hopeful that some good will still come out of it and change India for the better.

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