India’s Aakash 2 In Production and It Looks Good

“A new government tender is expected by January 2013 for five million units, with "up to a million" units targeted by March, according to Datawind chief executive Suneet Tuli. Ministers may appoint multiple suppliers for this next order.”

see BBC News – Tablet computer: Aakash upgrade in India 'well received'.

It took a little time but the small and really cheap tablet PC intended for 220 million students finally seems ready. The specs are competitive and the price is right at $21 after subsidies. Five million units next year will make a dent in the Digital Divide in India. It should do wonders for Indian education, government and economy as well. Within a few years some of these users will be in a position to choose and this may well plant a seed for FLOSS generally.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to India’s Aakash 2 In Production and It Looks Good

  1. Lutz D. Meier wrote, “Only now are we beginning to see good or even great tablets in the “less than 100 Euros” segment.”

    Oh, I agree. There were lots of cheap thingies with almost-no-name brand ARMed CPUs and Android 1 or 2. The OEMs are now using better SoCs and Android 4+. It’s all good but not amazing. It’s just the inevitable tendency to produce better stuff in IT so that it can compete. That other stuff only competed on price. Now stuff competes on price/performance. I just claim that this is to be expected. You will see the same with GNU/Linux PCs. Instead of shipping what ASUS did (Linpus) you will see popular distros shipped and even ASUS’ first choice is much improved these days. The small guys who rush whatever to market don’t have the big bankrolls to coast on while tuning up a product. They have to sell what they can. The beauty of FLOSS is that they can ship the best OS no matter the budget. Whether that can run on the cheapest hardware is another matter.

    I think a lot of small cheap computers did use rather marginal SoCs. Now they are much more likely to use dual-core SoCs with better graphics. The sweet spot seems to be ~$100. Only last year it was ~$200. That’s the way technology goes if it has to compete. Still, the sub-$100 units are usable and will work for people who can only afford that.

  2. Lutz D. Meier says:

    It’s not amazing.

    I object. Simply because you haven’t seen what kind of Android tablets for such a low price have been available up to now in Germany. Most of them were pretty bad. Only now are we beginning to see good or even great tablets in the “less than 100 Euros” segment.

  3. Lutz D. Meier wrote, “it worked amazingly well”.

    It’s not amazing. That’s what you get when the world cooperates to make Android/Linux and a mess of apps. The OEMs have had plenty of time to figure out what they can do to improve on usability and that expertise is now widely available.

    In terms of performance I have seen people “amazed” by what their old PCs could do with a new OS and applications. Ask the PC to do less rather than more and it is faster. I saw that even with XP. A machine running SP1 isolated for 8 years from M$ was snappy and XP SP3 was sluggish as all get out. */Linux systems are totally configurable and can be made snappy on just about anything. Really, an old 486 can show pictures and receive clicks very well as a thin client. Just stick 100 mbits/s on it and if flies. These latest small cheap computers are hundreds of times faster and have more resources. Hardware is not the limiting factor except for Wintel.

  4. Lutz D. Meier says:

    That reminds me, I tried out some Android 7″ tablets last weekend in some big electronics stores. While there are indeed many clunkers still to be found, I stumbled on a 99.- Euros tablet. Sure, the features are a bit on the spartan side, but it worked amazingly well. The capacitive touchscreen never acted up, multi-touch gestures were executed flawlessly, the battery (based on and extrapolated from my 30 minute test session) probably is good for 4.5 to 5 hours of constant usage. Thanks to a HDMI output it can double as a media player, which I tried out in the store by means of an Micro-SD card with the Blender Open Movies in 1080p.

    It’s just insane what value you can get for a mere 99.- Euros today when Android is involved. I wouldn’t dare to think of spending 329.- Euros or then some on an iPad mini or something similar.

  5. dougman says:

    Between China and India that is approximately 2-billion people; one simple narrow-minded company and it’s bald-headed CEO cannot corner the market for 28.5% of the human population.

    With Samsung introducing flex screens and graphene becoming ubiquitous, the future of laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc will shrink down to the size and thinness of business cards.

    As Robert has been saying, “The Era of the Desktop PC” as controlled my Wintel is dying.

    The only thing we see from M$ is colorful marketing:

    I did read that Google is releasing a touch-based Chromebook next-month, so whats to say that they do not offer something close the Surface tablet for $250? Why should I spend $800+??

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