Next generation of Aakash 3, the low cost tablet Indian government wants to give away for free to millions of students, won’t be too different from the previous version of Aakash tablets except for the capability to make phone calls, according to the recommended specifications of the device.
The specifications will be finalized by the national mission for education by the end of this month. However, based on the recommended specifications which are yet to be finalised, Datawind, the manufacturer of previous versions of the low cost tablets has come up with its own device called UbiSlate 7C+.
Datawind has priced the device at Rs 4,990 (about $92) but the government is will sell it for much cheaper or give it away for free. The government is expected to float a global tender to procure these devices by the end of this month.
“On the basis of recommended specifications submitted for Aakash3, Datawind has commercially launched the UbiSlate 7C+ at an aggressive price of Rs. 4,999,” the company said on its website.
The recommended specifications according to Datawind are
Cortex A8 Processor at 1Ghz
512 MB RAM
Multi Touch Capacitive Screen
Front VGA Camera
Wi-Fi, GPRS (with Sim/ Phone functionality)
Datawind’s UbiSlate 7C+ can be preordered on their website.
Akaash 1, hailed as the cheapest tablet in the world or the $50 tablet, was launched in October 2011. It was manufactured by Datawind based IIT Rajasthan’s specifications. The second version of the tablets was launched last year by the government to be given to students for Rs 1,130 (about $20).
The Aakash project has gone through multiple delays and controversies. The latest was the one which followed allegations that Datawind procured tablets from Chinese manufacturers and sold it to the Indian government which was trying to portray the tablet as an example of Indian innovation.