When first announced, it was accepted to be a myth. As the details came pouring in, proving the actual making of the device, the disbelief soon turned into shock, then stunned surprise and then, finally, desire. Yes, the Aakash tablet is the most anticipated product of the year. Developed by the British company DataWind along with the IIT Rajasthan, it is the cheapest tablet in the world which was launched in November, and underwent a trial run of 100,000 units. The revised version of the tablet, named Aakash II, is set to be launched sometime in January 2012. The tablet comes with a price tag of Rs 2,500, has 2GB Flash memory and is WiFi and GPRS enabled. The online booking of the Aakash tablet stands closed, but Aakash II can be booked online.
The dimension of the tablet is 190.5 x 118.5 x 15.7mm; it has a 7” touch screen. It weighs 350gm and uses the Android 2.2 operating system. It has a rather poor RAM of 256 MB, and a battery which can last for 3 hours. The tablet has a text editor and PFR reader. What is missing from the tablet is the ability to multitask. It also lacks a camera and GPS, and also heats up fast.
The tablet is everything you can possibly expect a tablet of 3 grand to be. There is nothing in this tablet to rave about, nor should it be completely dissed. At 2,500 it is a good few thousand rupees less than a decent, basic phone. It is extremely affordable and, for people who have never owned a tablet before, it’s a good stepping stone. The tablet allows access to social sites, and has a decent collection of applications. It has a good multimedia capability, and has decent video and audio. An additional payment of 300 bucks will earn you a keyboard and a protective case. It is difficult to classify Aakash; it is not completely a tablet, lacking many of the features of a typical tablet, yet having more facilities than an android phone.
If you sit down to make a pros/con list, you would find that it weighs the same in both the sides. While the extremely feasible price is its greatest asset, its low battery life and lack of 3G would be its weakest feature. The tablet lacks a camera and multitasking facility. Also, the screen touch is not very responsive and often needs multiple pokes to earn a response. It also lacks Bluetooth, one of the most basic features of a tablet.
While the Aakash tablet has earned a name and place in the marketplace, the soon to be launched Aakash II is light years ahead of it. Almost every fault and missing feature will be added in Aakash II, and it will also sport Bluetooth, a camera, a SIM slot etc. amongst other things. While the traditional tablets might still be more preferred and sought after, Aakash surely poses a major threat to the smart phones and Android phones. The launching of Aakash II in January won’t make things any easier for them. Hmmm times sure are hard.