At Rs 2,999 DataWind tablet can power 3G users in India

India will have more broadband users soon thanks to DataWind tablet for Rs 2,999.

Kapil Sibal, minister of Human Resources & Development, Communications & Information Technology, launched the world’s lowest cost tablet computer in India.

The tablet called Aakash has been designed, developed and manufactured by DataWind of the UK in partnership with IIT Rajasthan, under the Human Resources & Development Ministry’s National Mission on Education through Information & Communication Technology (NME-ICT).

The government will buy 100,000 tablets from DataWind at an all-inclusive price of Rs 2,250 per unit.

The Aakash tablet will be available to post-secondary students through the NME-ICT, DataWind will offer a commercial version, called the UbiSlate, starting late November at Rs 2,999. The price difference between the Aakash and UbiSlate is because the commercially available product will include a cellular modem, allowing it to deliver web access anywhere there is a cellular connectivity, and also to function as a mobile phone. 

The UbiSlate will be offered by DataWind online and through reputed electronics and mobile retailers across India starting late November.  The UbiSlate will be priced under Rs 3,000 including 12 months of warranty.  Internet access across mobile networks will be priced at Rs 99 for 2GB.

The availability of cost effective tablet will assist in increasing the broadband penetration from the present 14 million users. It will also improve the uptake of 3G users across the country.

The low cost device was the third leg of NME-ICT: after connecting over 1,000 institutions across the country with high bandwidth Wi-Fi networks and web-enabling masses of course-content for free.  

Under NME-ICT, the government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to post-secondary students across India.  The target price of the 10 million units is Rs 1,750 per unit. DataWind has provided a firm proposal at the Rs 1,750 price point also.

Our goal was to break the price barrier for computing and internet access.  Working with IIT Rajasthan, and NME-ICT, we’ve created a product that will finally bring affordable computing and internet access to the masses.  This is not only a concept that applies to India, but has ignited the imagination of governments around the world.  The Aakash is proudly made in India, and is destined to revolutionize computing and internet access for the world,” said DataWind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli.

DataWind established a new production line in Hyderabad, India specifically for this purpose, resulting in the ultra low-cost tablet to be the first indigenously designed and manufactured tablet.

The Aakash tablet can be used as an Ebook reader, for access to online streaming course material and web based research.  Not limited to students, Aakash offers anybody that wants high quality web, social networking, instant messaging, multimedia, games and hundreds of thousands of applications, a durable and affordable mobile device.  Instant messaging and social networking are delivered through the Nimbuzz application.

The Aakash is a 7″ Android 2.2 touch screen tablet that has a HD video co-processor for a high-quality multimedia experience and core graphics accelerator for faster application support.  The Aakash tablet is the only Android device in the market to offer DataWind’s UbiSurfer browser, based on 18 international patents.  The UbiSurfer browser accelerates web pages by factors of 10x to 30x, allowing for a web experience of unrivalled speed.  

The device includes Wi-Fi connectivity and support for optional 3G modems.  Two full-sized USB ports are integrated into the unit allowing pen-drives, external keyboards, web-cams, dongles and other inexpensive peripherals to be attached. 

By Team
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