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 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.
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
Whether or not this device will really allow the majority of
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.