To expand its digital access and to take on China and Brazil in connectivity, India today introduced a computer tablet for students available for around $50.

The preliminary price at which the government is purchasing one lakh tablets from DataWind is Rs 2250 per unit and the target value at which the government proposes to obtain further 1 crore units is at Rs 1750 per unit.

The device named Aakash, meaning the sky is considered to be the cheapest in the industry and according to the government will be available in pilot run of 100.000 units before it reaches the millions of students in a few months time. “Soon, a $35 computer will be made available to every child in school. The tablet shall help enhance the quality of learning of children,” Telecoms and Education Minister Kapil Sibal informed.

The tablet will be available commercially from November at a price of Rs 2999 which will include an additional feature of a cellular modem in the commercial model. Some units of the tablet were also circulated to the students which were present at the launch event held in New Delhi. This device in the beginning will be made available to post-secondary students.

The Aakash tablet will also support Wi-Fi connectivity and includes a stereo earphones and microphone. 12-month replacement warranty will also be offered with the tablet along with an additional external memory up to 32 GB and an USB port for supporting external storage devices.

One can acquire a keyboard portfolio case at an additional cost of Rs 300, for the Akash tablet during the commercial launch of the world’s cheapest tablet.

A Report by Maplecroft, a risk analysis firm illustrated that India trails fellow BRIC nations China, Russia and Brazil in the force to acquire its 1.2 billion people to stay connected to the one of the most demanding technologies such as the mobile phones and Internet.

According to the other recent report, the number of Internet users has increased between 2000 and 2010 but only 8 percent of Indians have access to Internet as compared with around 40 percent in China.

Last week launch of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet shook up the worldwide tablet market and with its $199 price tag along with a professional browser is going to be a serious threat to Apple’s iPad tablet.

Unlike the Kindle Fire, the Aakash also utilizes the Google Android operating system but market watchers were doubtful that the device which will be developed in India will have mass demand.

Specifications of Aakash Tablet:


  • Processor: 366 Mhz. Connexant with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor
  • Memory (RAM): 256MB RAM / Storage (Internal): 2GB Flash
  • Storage (External): 2GB to 32GB Supported
  • Peripherals (USB2.0 ports, number): 1 Standard USB port
  • Audio out: 3.5mm jack / Audio in: 3.5mm jack
  • Display and Resolution: 7″ display with 800×480 pixel resolution
  • Input Devices: Resistive touch screen
  • Connectivity and Networking: GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g
  • Power and Battery: Up to 180 minutes on battery. AC adapter 200-240 volt range.

Software and Formats:

  • OS: Android 2.2
  • Supported Document formats: DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP
  • PDF viewer, Text editor
  • Image viewer supported formats: PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF
  • Supported audio formats: MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA
  • Supported video formats: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV
  • Communication and Internet
  • Web browser – Standards Compliance: xHTML 1.1 compliant, JavaScript 1.8 compliant
  • Separate application for online YouTube video
  • Safety and other standards compliance
  • CE certification / RoHS certification