Akash Android Tablet – Enabling India for $38

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The Indian Government and Canadian company Datawind have just released the Akash, a 7″ Android based Tablet.

The Indian government has contracted to buy some 8 to 10 million of the devices by March 2012 and will initially be giving the devices away to students for free and when available commercially will sell for around $38.

“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 told The Times of India.

Based on  Android 2.2 ( Froyo ) , a 7-inch resistive touch screen ( 800-x-480) , a 366-MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, 2GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, WiFi, GPRS modem, two USB ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack  and a 2100 mAh battery that lasts around 3 hours, the specifications don’t look that impressive. The device will however go a long way in enabling many of India’s 1.2 billion people  who cannot afford more expensive units and  whom only around 8% currently have Internet Access.

According to Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind, the configuration of the DataWind tablet is adequate for most applications including HD quality video, reading books, and basic office applications. The device makes up for the lower speed processor by using compression acceleration technologies that shift a part of the processing during Web browsing from the device to the cloud ( ala Amazon Silk ? 🙂 )

Datawind has plans to expand it’s market to other countries as well. Would you buy one and at what price point  ?

(Edit: Contrary to all other sources found this: http://akashslate.com/ which appears to price the unit at around  $60 ?!? )

11 thoughts on “Akash Android Tablet – Enabling India for $38”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Since this post went up I’ve had to delete a number of posts that IMHO don’t add any value to this thread. They appear to be from Indian Nationals asking questions like “Where can I get one?”, “How much can I get one for? “, “How much if I’m a student?”

    Sorry but we can’t help with those questions and can I suggest you check out this website http://akashslate.com/ and either email or phone the details there or if you’re a student maybe try ringing the Indian Department of Education.

    Apologies if I had to trash your comment and good luck finding out the information and hopefully you end up with an Akash 🙂

    ( and if you do get one make sure you come back and do a review for us 🙂 )

  3. Well I’d consider buying a set for the kids.
    Combine it with a hard-disc with WiFi-accesspoint build into it … and you’d have a comparably cheap amusement set to keep the kids quiet in the car during long trips.

    Would for sure beat taking tons of DVD’s with you and buying separate LCD-screens.

  4. @Bob 🙂

    Oh obviously the thing you need to keep in mind is the average wage and cost of living in some of these countries. The average rural Indian only earns about $0.60 per day. 🙁

  5. hey guys i am from India… the data rates you were talking about are true but the speed is very low……… you may get a speed of 20kbps …. which would be just sufficient for facebooking… dont even think of videos and apps at such a speed…

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