Aakash was a project to design, manufacture, and distribute low cost tablets to Schools and Universities in India. It was sponsored by the Indian Government. These tablets were expected to cost upto US $60 unsubsidised.
On July 22, 2010, India's Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal unveiled a prototype tablet named Sakshat.
In January 2011, the company initially chosen to build the Tablet, HCL Infosystems, failed to provide evidence that they had at least INR600 million ($12.2 million) in bank guaranteed funds, as required by the Indian government, which has allocated $6.5 million to the project. As a result, the government put the project out for bidding again.
On 5 October 2011 another prototype named Ubislate 7 was announced and IIT Rajasthan was given the responsibility to test the the first batch of devices.
Shakshat is a tablet manufactured by HCL infosystems, possibly based on the Hivision SpeedPad PWS700HA design.
- Rs. 2250 (US $45)
- Android 2.2 Froyo
- 256 MB RAM
- 2 GB ROM (internal storage)
- 2 USB Ports
UbiSlate 7 is a tablet designed by datawind, manufactured by Quad.
- Rs 2,500 (US $50)
- 366 MHz CPU
- 256 MB RAM
- 2100 mAh Battery
- Wi-Fi only
- Resistive touchscreen
Problems such as low memory, frequent system freezes, low battery life, iresponsive screen, poor sound quality, absence of support for all formats and inability to install free software available online were cited by users testing Aakash 1. After receiving feedback of the early release model from over 500 users in educational institutions, Government announced the tender(Contract Auction) for Aakash 2, and Datawind announced UbiSlate 7+.
UbiSlate 7+ is the upgraded version of UbiSlate 7
- Rs 2999 (US $60)
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 700 MHz CPU
- 256 MB RAM
- 3200 mAh Battery
- Wi-Fi + GPRS phone network
Other Low cost tablets announced in India
Penta T-Pad IS701R is manufactured by pantel
Effects and consequencesEdit
So far none of the low cost tablets announced in India has reached the hands of the intended users/customers. The President & CEO of DataWind even posted an apology letter for not bieng able to deliver products that has been purchased in January 2012.
On the other hand, Google has taken note of the demand for low cost access device, and designed their upcoming Nexus device to be a 7 inch tablet, costing less than US $250 (Rs 12500). It will be announced in June 27 at Google IO, and subsequently launched in July 2012.