Aakash Tablet from Venturebeat on Vimeo.
The Indian government has created a very interesting tablet for students in India. The 7 inch display tablet device is runs Android and is remarkably powerful given the price. Obviously it isn’t as responsive as devices like Amazon’s Fire.
Video on this cheap device from India works very well.
Aakash Android Table Review
The components inside the Aakash tablet are cheap, and easily sourced. For example, the Aakash tablet has a headphone jack and an audio-in jack, but no external speakers — an obvious cost-savings measure. However, with the addition of cheap headphones, and an equally cheap microphone, the owner can make calls on Skype and has the potential to communicate with people around the world.
The screen is pressure sensitive (also called resistive touch) and responds somewhat slowly to gestures. It’s definitely not as dazzling as the high-end tablets familiar to Western audiences, such as the capacitive touchscreen iPad
What makes the Aakash tablet different is that its creators didn’t strive for perfection. Instead, the emphasis was on getting the product into the market quickly so it could be adopted, tinkered with, and improved over time. As Wadhwa said, “to get the cost down, you have to make some compromises.”
The unmistakable impression we all got from using the Aakash tablet was that it is built for performance. Every design choice that might seem like a negative reveals three, four, five — or more — net benefits.
Why does it have two USB ports? So you can plug in a keyboard, of course, and still have a free slot for an external hard drive, or some other device. What about that screen cover that seems like it’s made from laminating material? If the tablet is meant for educational use, it’s probably going to have to contend with some pretty rough handling, dirt, dust and moisture. Better that it should withstand damage than look the extra bit nicer.
I really love to see gadgets aimed at the majority of the world’s population instead of only the rich. Gadgets aimed at the rich are pretty darn cool and fun. And I like them. I just also love to see us looking to create gadgets everyone can use.
Related: What Kids can Learn with Just a Computer and Time – Raspberry Pi: $25 Computer – Sub $100 Tablet in 2011