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Aakash, The World's Cheapest Tablet


Aakash tablet

We’ve seen A LOT of ‘cheap’ and mostly nasty Android tablets slide across our desks in the past year or so, but those will all now have to be relabelled as premium compared to the ridiculously cheap Aakash tablet which has gone on sale in India.

The Aakash, which means sky in Hindi, is the result of two years of development and is aimed at reducing the digital divide in the sub-continent and help get the country online.

The tablet will cost just £39 to the general public with cash-strapped students getting it for just £22.

While it won’t trouble the likes of the iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, it does come with some features many users would like to see on more premium tablets, such as full-sized USB ports and an SD card port.

Aakash tablet

The lightweight tablet will be assembled by British company DataWind in India and the Indian government will purchase the devices for £32 each before selling them on.

The initial production run of 100,000 will be given away to students for free with the first 500 handed out at the launch yesterday.

"The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide," Telecoms and Education Minister Kapil Sibal said.

At this price point, of course you are not going to get the highest of specs with a resistive rather than capacitive panel, no Wi-Fi, a three hour battery life, Android 2.2 and a 600MHz processor all part of the package.

Whether or not this device will really allow the majority of India’s population to get online is unclear but at such a low price it at least gives them a chance, though we are unlikely to see the Aakash on this side of the world any time soon to check it out for ourselves.

Source: {linkout:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/us-india-tablet-idUSTRE7940YV20111005 Reuters)

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