By now you might be aware of ‘Akash’, the $35 Indian tablet manufactured by England based DataWind. Two new things have emerged. First, the price of the tablet is no longer Rs.1750 but Rs.2250. This is due to the 1 year replacement warranty that is attached with the tablet that has driven the cost upwards. The Central Government ordered the manufacturer to replace a tablet if it malfunctions (with in 1 year of purchase) instead of repairing it. To cover this, the price has been increased.
The second thing is that the tablet will come in partnership with Aircel, which would provide its SIM card for accessing its 3G network.
Coming back to the price tag, Suneet Singh, CEO of DataWind has said that the Government of India is purchasing the tablet at Rs.2276 per unit and would make it available to students and educational institutions at a subsidized price of just Rs.1200.
He also adds that if the Government orders 10 lakh tablet, his company would be able to offer Akash tablets at Rs.1705 to the Government itself, enabling even lower rates to the students. Currently, the Government has just ordered 1 lakh Akash tablets.
Akash is being manufactured in its Hyderabad unit which has a capacity to produce 700 units a day (21000 a month) but obviously, to meet the needs, the capacity is being increased to produce 1 lakh units per month.
Update: Good news even if you’re not a student. Now anyone you can book the original Aakash for Rs.2500 for which you can pay cash on delivery. The tablet would be delivered with in 1 week from the date of booking. Aakash is packed with a 366Mhz ARM 11 processor, works with Android 2.2 and has Wifi facility. The major downside with this one is that you cannot go very far from a power source as Aakash needs to be fueled once every 1.5 hours (battery life).
There is another version of tablet, a slightly upgraded one, called Ubislate 7. This is priced at Rs.2999 and packs much faster Cortex A8 cpu clocked at 700Mhz and comes with the Gingerbread version of Android. The battery life is comparatively better (3200mAh instead of 2100mAh in case of Aakash) lasting for about 3 hours. Apart from just Wifi, UbiSlate 7 also can slot in your Sim card for data access via your carrier