// Cheapest computer in the world - Made in India
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WCoastbaba
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« on: Oct 05, 2011 10:01 PM »


India launches Aakash tablet computer priced at $35

Millions of students will have access to the tablets, officials hope


India has launched what it says is the world's cheapest touch-screen tablet computer, priced at just $35 (£23).

Costing a fraction of Apple's iPad, the subsidised Aakash is aimed at students.

It supports web browsing and video conferencing, has a three-hour battery life and two USB ports, but questions remain over how it will perform.

Officials hope the computer will give digital access to students in small towns and villages across India, which lags behind its rivals in connectivity.

At the launch in the Indian capital, Delhi, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal handed out 500 Aakash (meaning sky) tablets to students who will trial them.

He said the government planned to buy 100,000 of the tablets. It hopes to distribute 10 million of the devices to students over the next few years.

"The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide," Mr Sibal said.


The Aakash has been developed by UK-based company DataWind and Indian Institute of Technology (Rajasthan).

It is due to be assembled in India, at DataWind's new production centre in the southern city of Hyderabad.

"Our goal was to break the price barrier for computing and internet access," DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said.

"We've created a product that will finally bring affordable computing and internet access to the masses."

The company says it will also offer a commercial version of the tablet, called UbiSlate. It is expected to hit the shelves later this year, retailing for about $60.

Usability questions

Mr Sibal says the device will enhance learning in India.

Experts say it does have the potential to make a huge difference to the country's education, particularly in rural areas where schools and students do not have access to libraries and up-to-date information.


Mr Sibal (right) hopes the tablet will end the 'digital divide'
But critics say it is too early to say how the Aakash will be received as most cheap tablets in the past have turned out to be painfully slow.

"The thing with cheap tablets is most of them turn out to be unusable," Rajat Agrawal of technology reviewers BGR India told Reuters news agency.

"They don't have a very good touch screen, and they are usually very slow."

Critics also point out that an earlier cheap laptop plan by the same ministry came to nothing.

In 2009, it announced plans for a laptop priced as low as $10, raising eyebrows and triggering worldwide media interest.

But there was disappointment after the "Sakshat" turned out to be a prototype of a hand-held device, with an unspecified price tag, that never materialised.

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2011 02:02 AM »

wsalam,

doesn't india make the cheapest car in the world?? well i'm sure they could do it but i'd be worried about the quality.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2011 02:06 AM »

Yeah, I think they do! Thought about that when I saw this!

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Edit:

India creates world's cheapest computer

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 06, 2011 07:49 PM »

I wish India would instead try to help out the poor and needy people with food shelter and clothing instead... I have too many memories of naked children in the streets begging for a few rupees... Even though I was very small I was still crying at the sight.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 06, 2011 08:51 PM »

Yes, true Sis . . my Amma says that all the time - with all the advancement in technology and how India plays a big part in that (Bangalore, where my Abba's famiy is from, is called the Silicon Vally of the East) . . if they can't provide clean water and other basic needs, how successful is a country really?

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 07, 2011 04:21 AM »

Salam,

I saw that report on Al jazeerah. Not sure if it's the same one, but the inventor was saying the reason he wanted to create this was to lessen the digital divide between rich and poor. With a very cheap laptop with internet access, kids in remote villages even could learn and educate themselves. I think that's pretty noble. The Indian gov't said it wants to distribute 100,000 to school children across India. One thing that's good about India/desis is their emphasis on education. They know it's important for the future and they are willing to invest in it.

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 07, 2011 05:14 AM »

Yeah, I think that is the same report and yes, didn't mean to take away from those efforts . . still think there are some basic necessities that are lacking the very very poor areas . . but yes, education is important in our culture, that is for sure and Indians are doing great both in India and abroad - back in the day, as I was growing up, my mom and khala would show me the Indian newspaper that is published for America, called India West and always pointing out these Indians who were excelling in different areas of education (Beta, look how great these kids are doing! (Hint hint)" - great for the confidence boost, don't you think?  Wink

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PS Sis J, if I am getting too "enthusiastic" with the Al Jazeera videos, please tell me to stop, lol, I know it's probably just better to have text on the post for the most part. I'm just a dork, that's all . . .

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« Reply #7 on: Oct 07, 2011 08:16 AM »

Ahaa..people getting impressed by India, nice.

But there is a slight distortion, whatever strides Indians are making in education are NOT because of the government!
It's the people's efforts that are paying off. The government just sits there, sanctions new projects on education or whatever, only to make money out of it. The benefits almost never reach the people. It's stays only on paper.

About the laptop...what difference will a 100,000 laptops make?  There are more than a million schoolchildren who go to substandard government(public) schools which don't even have a roof, in Hyderabad alone. To add on to that, I don't think even a single laptop will reach a government(public) schoolkid.

India has always grown because of its people, not because of those pot bellied politicians who're assumed to be representing India.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 07, 2011 04:52 PM »

Having a substantial population size, I think India also has a proportionally larger number of people living in poverty. Its nice to see efforts going into education, but like brother akhan says these laptops will most likely not reach the people in public education. I think basic necessities of life are a must, and should be looked at first. But without education, it becomes hard to further oneself in life. Its a bit of a catch-22 in my opinion ...
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 07, 2011 06:11 PM »

I don't think it's a catch 22 situation. Even if they're doling out peanuts to feed 100 people where there are millions starving, it's still a good thing to do but the problem is, there are innumerable welfare programs, but the benefits have always eluded the deserving. Instead, that money goes into the pockets of politicians, bureaucrats, civil servants and whoever else is in the chain, even private contractors. It doesn't matter whether they give out a laptop or a pencil, both are going to be useful. But, the point is that whatever is being given out should reach the beneficiaries which seldom happens. That's my biggest botheration.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 07, 2011 08:32 PM »

Thanks for the insight bhaya. Yes, I've always been weary of the nana's and dada's that are running the country. . . .

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