While India has been crying over rising costs and a difficult life, our Human Resource Development Mr. Kapil Sibal, goes ahead to showcase an extremely cheap tablet PC, something similar to what an Apple iPad is.
India has developed a 35-dollar touch-screen laptop, touted as the world’s cheapest, under a programme to provide connectivity to students in schools and universities..
The laptop unveiled by the country’s Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal is described by the government as a ‘low-cost computing and internet-access device.’Sibal said his ministry had initiated talks with global companies about its manufacture and hoped to bring down the price to 10 dollars after the device was mass produced. ‘India had developed another low-cost computing device last year but it cost about 65 dollars. This is a different model … it looks like an Apple iPad,’ Mamta Verma, a ministry spokeswoman, said. The laptop has all the basic features, including a built-in keyboard, 2 GB of RAM memory, Wi-fi connectivity, USB ports and is powered by a 2-watt system for use in power-deficit areas. The seven- and nine-inch (18- and 23-centimetre) Linux-based touchscreen gadget, which can be run on solar-power, in addition to the battery-operated system, is likely to be introduced in higher-education institutions next year. The device was developed by research teams comprising students, professors and experts from the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Sciences. India’s education policy aims at supplying connectivity to colleges and universities, providing low-cost and affordable access and computing devices for students and teachers and offering high-quality e-content free of cost to students. The government spends just about 3 per cent of gross domestic product annually on education. The literacy rate has shown steady improvement over the past few years to reach over 65 per cent of India’s 1.2-billion population.
There’s no denying the fact that Apple iPad has captured everyone’s imaginations. A touch screen tablet PC with an impressive range of features from wi-fi access to movies, emails, browsers and access to thousands of Apple’s app store applications, iPad has been appreciated by all. The only thing keeping some people away from buying it is the price range. With an average price of between $500 to $700, it’s not exactly cheap.
However, things can change if what Kapil Sibal unveiled as an Indian answer to iPad is true. What the minister showcased is a touchscreen notepad kind of device, which uses linux as its native operating system. The device has a pretty decent 2GB RAM and provides almost all the functionality a normal notebook can offer. It has a web browser, multimedia player, PDF reader, Wi-Fi access and video conferencing ability. To top it all up, the Indian ipad can be charged using its solar-power option. The only thing missing in the tablet is a hard disk, as it’s been made to use a memory card.
The motherboard has been designed by students from Indian Institute of Technology. Sources have said that India is now working towards reducing the costs even further, with the minister confirming of plans to drop the price to $10 or below Rs. 500.
However, the Tablet PC won’t be available for sale till next year at least. That is what has got many people worrying if the tablet is a real deal, or just another of those Congress promises which never gets fulfilled. The entire thing is too good to be true and if successful, it will change computer and tablet PC sales not just in India but across the world. But unless the real thing is released for the students as promised next year, doubts will remain on the authenticity of its claims.
The7-inch touchscreen tablet features a inbuilt keyboard, video conferencing facility, multimedia content, Wi-Fi, USB port, 32GB hard drive and a 2GB RAM. There’s support for Open Office, SciLab and Internet browsing.
10,000 Sakshat tablets will be shipped to IIT Rajasthan by June-end, following by the launch of over 90,000 tablet units in the next 4 months.
Specifications of Sakshat Tablet:
- QWERTY keyboard, mouse and a minimum display of 7” colour LCD/TFT (touchscreen optional)
- 2 USB 2.0 ports and USB hosts
- Three hours batteryless device
- SD card slot (8GB expandable memory)
- Support to connect LCD projector
- Support for external hard disk drive (Minimum 32 GB)
- Ethernet port
- 80% shock resistant