Tablet computers have been discussed as early as the mid-20th century, but only became popular with the 2010 launch of Apple’s iPad. This quickly inspired rival offerings from Samsung Electronics and others powered by Google’s Android operating consumer. So-called ‘phablets’ refer to devices that are smaller than traditional tablets, but bigger than traditional smartphones.
India releases US$20 Aakash tablet computer for students
Agence France-Presse in New Delhi
India has launched a new version of its ultra-low-cost tablet computer with a quicker processor and an improved battery, on sale to students at the subsidised price of US$20.
The Aakash tablet, dubbed the world's cheapest computer, has been developed as a public-private partnership aimed at making computing technology available to students in a country where internet usage is only about 10 per cent.
Datawind, the Britain-based maker of the tablet, said the Aakash 2 is powered by a processor that runs three times faster than the original, has a bigger touchscreen and a battery with a life of three hours.
The paperback-book-sized Aakash 2, developed by Indian engineers at elite IIT public universities, runs the Google operating system Android 4.0 and has an 18cm screen.
The first 100,000 devices will be sold to students at engineering colleges and universities at a subsidised price of 1,130 rupees (HK$155) and subsequently Aakash 2 will be distributed to book stores in Indian universities and sell for 3,500 rupees.