A couple of years ago the Indian government announced that they were working on a $10 (USD) laptop to help make technology and education accessible to their poor citizens. I didn’t take their plan seriously, but they sure did. Although somewhere along the way their plans changed, they still came up with a very impressive product. Behold – the Aakash, a tablet that can be bought for as little as $35.
The Aakash (Hindi for “sky”) runs Anroid 2.2 (Froyo), has a 7″ resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480, a 366Mhz CPU, 256MB of RAM, 2GB of internal storage and a battery that lasts for only 3 hours maximum in between charges. It has Wi-Fi connectivity, but no 3G unless you use a dongle. Disappointing specs, yes, but not surprising for the price. What’s really surprising – and a slap to the face of iPad owners – is that the Aakash also has two USB ports and a microSD slot. Buuuuuurn. Don’t balk at its puny hardware either – it may not be able to play Infinity Blade but it can still play HD videos thanks to an integrated video processor. Here’s a more in-depth look at the Aakash courtesy of YouTube channel NDTV Profit (skip to 0:27 for the start of the feature):
Again, the tablet’s manufacturer is actually selling the Aakash to the Indian government for $45 apiece. The government then subsidizes some of the cost to be able to sell it to teachers and students for $35. The Aakash isn’t a full laptop and it’s not sold for $10, but it is a very functional and useful device. What an impressive achievement. Check out the source links below for more information. Now how about that microSD slot, Apple?