AAKASH – A Digital Revolution to bridge digital divide
October 10, 2011 4 Comments
Slate Tablet PC
What is a Tablet PC?
Tablet computers are mobile devices that do not have a keyboard or a mouse as input tools but instead have a touch screen where users can write with a stylus or use a keyboard display . It’s a flat-panel portable PC in the form of a slate. Instead, using “digital ink” technology, you can add information by writing on the screen (or “tablet”) with a digital pen or “stylus,” much like you do in a patient’s paper chart. Other characteristics are tablet shape and size, wireless connection to Internet and local area networks.
They are powered by variety of operating systems. Some are proprietary ones like Apple iPad iOS or HP webOS, but majority of tablets are running on various Windows 7 editions and Android operating system.Since the iPad first launch in 2010, tablets are going very strong. They found their place between mobile phones and laptop computers. The idea of tablet computing is generally credited to Alan Kay of Xerox, who sketched out the idea in 1971. The first widely-sold tablet computer was Apple Computer’s Newton, which was not a commercial success. Technological advances in battery life, display resolution, handwriting recognition software, larger memory, and wireless Internet access have since made tablets a viable computing option. As prices are dropping and number of applications for tablets is growing these gadgets have a bright future in years to come.
Aakash tablet pc
was launched on
5th October 2011
World’s cheapest tablet computer : Aakash aka UbiSlate 7
The MHRD’s much awaited, much talked about and world’s cheapest tablet ‘Aakash’ (costing Rs 2,276), has been launched in New Delhi on 5th October 2011 by Hon. Union HRD Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal. Aakash was earlier branded as Sakshat Tablet.With 500 units initially being given away at launch to help students with their studies, the Indian government plans to buy a further 100,000 units from the device maker Datawind and sell them exclusively to Indian graduate students at cheapest price.
The tablet PC, named Aakash, will cost the government Rs 2,276. It will be given to students after subsidising the price by up to 50 per cent, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said while unveiling the 7-inch touchscreen device.This tablet is for students and the government will start distributing at central and technical institutions. In 12th Five Year Plan, “We will provide these devices to students studying in class 9 onward up to class 12,” Sibal said.
An initially order of 1 lakh devices has been placed with device maker Datawind, Sibal said. The procurement order will be scaled up later with an aim to bringing down prices further, he added. “If 10 lakh pieces are ordered, then it will be priced at Rs 1,750 (cost to the government) which will include transportation cost and vendor’s profit as well. So, I have fulfilled my promise of USD 35 tablet,” Sibal said.
Aakash is due to be assembled in India, at DataWind’s new production centre in the southern city of Hyderabad.
DataWind also plans to release the Aakash in the UK under the name UbiSlate 7 by next February 2012.The tablet will also be commercially available in India from November at a price of Rs 2999. A cellular modem will be the additional feature in the commercial model.
UBiSlate 7 Features:
Co-developed by UK-based company DataWind and the Indian Institute of Technology (Rajasthan), the Aakash, also known as UbiSlate 7, is powered by a 366MHz processor, 256 MB RAM, two USB ports, 2GB inbuilt storage, 32GB expandable memory slot, 7 inch resistive touch screen and weighs 350 gm.. Running on Google’s Android 2.2 Froyo, it also supports Wi-Fi, web browsing and video conferencing.
Android 2.2 is the mobile operating system created by Google Inc. under the code name ‘Froyo’. Android is open-source software, which means anyone can make the operating system better. It is based on open Linux 2.6 kernel and make use of Java platform to provide the user interface in its applications. Android need high speed Processor and RAM to run. Simply saying Android is similar to Windows Operating system.
This affordable tablet pc will cost Rs 2,999 ($60) in retail stores. Students can get this tablet for Rs 1,700 ($35). The $60 Aakash Tablet will have built-in SIM card slot for GSM and 3G connectivity options along with Wi-Fi. The $35 version will not have GSM/3G capability, only Wi-Fi will be present for internet connectivity.
Aakash Tablet Hardware Specifications:
•Processor : 366 Mhz Connexant with Graphics accelerator
and HD Video co-processor & graphics Accelerator
•Memory : 256 MB ram
•Storage (internal) : 2GB Flash Memory
•Storage (external) : MicroSD 2GB to 32GB expanadable
•Ports : 2 Full USB 2.0 ports
• Audio (in and out) : 3.5 mm audio jack
•Display : 7” resistive touch Screen
•Resolution : 800X480 pixel resolution
•Dimension : 190.5mm(W) x 118.5mm (D) x 15.7mm (H)
•Weight : 350 grams
•Connectivity : GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/c
•Battery Backup : 2100mAh (Upto 180 minutes on average use)
•Power : AC Adapter 200-240 volt range.
Aakash Tablet Software Specifications:
• Operating System : Android 2.2 (Froyo)
– Supported Document format: DOC/DOCX, PPT/PPTX, XLS/XLSX, ODT, ODP
PDF viewer, Text editor
•Multimedia and Image Display
– Image viewer supported formats:PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF
– Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA
– Supported video formats: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV
•Communication and Internet
– UbiSlate Web browser– Standards Compliance: xHTML 1.1 compliant,
– Separate application for online YouTube video
• Safety and other standards compliance
–CE certification / RoHS certification
Aakash will carry one-year free replacement warranty from the manufacturer.
You can book Aakash Tablet by visiting the official site http://www.aakashtablet.com/
Source :http://www.aakashtablet.com and other online resources.
Finally, before closing this post i would like to point out the biggest threat to Aakash Tablet’s Success!
A 7-inch tablet which connects to the internet with WiFi alone would not be enough to “vanquish” digital illiteracy and boost e-learning and internet usage in rural areas. India needs more WiFi hotspots before the digital revolution can take place.
Handing everyone a gadget to browse the Internet without investing in broadband / WiFi network across the country is a bit like giving someone a television set without electricity.
Firstly, the government needs to improve infrastructure to absorb such a product. Internet access still remains the preserve of the urban rich in India.Currently, only a handful of cafes, shopping malls, modern offices in reputed educational institutions/universities based in affluent areas in cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai offer WiFi hotspots. Outside these metropolises, the service is close to non-existent. WiFi connectivity may be biggest hurdle in the success of this revolution besides the poor condition of electricity in rural areas.
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