Sunday, April 29, 2012
London new version appears to be much more usable
Data wind, the Montreal- and London - based creator of the UbiSlate 7 tablet, (whose India-government version is called the Aakash) launched the UbiSlate 7+ in New Delhi on Thursday. This second-generation of the ultra-low-cost tablet will sell at roughly the same prices that its predecessor was at. The 7+ is priced at Rs.. 2,999 and the 7C (with a capacitive touch display) is made available at Rs.. 3,999. A version of this product will be sold as the Akaash Teblet II via the Indian government, with a subsidy, for school students. The project is strongly backed by Indian HRD and ICT minister Kapil Sibal. The base Akaash Teblet II model will continue with a resistive touch display. "This is not a launch, it's a revolution," said Data wind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli. The second generation brings in a faster (800 MHz) processor, a (claimed) better battery life, and in the 7C model, a capacitive multi-touch display and 4 GB of flash storage. The included Data wind UbiSurfer browser uses compression to optimally use GPRS, and versions of the product will ship with unlimited Internet access for Rs.. 99 a month. Both models are 7 inches and ship with Android 2.3, though the Ice Cream Sandwich flavor (upgraded version) of Android is due on the product by July, according to Tuli.
An early look at a pre-shipping unit at CyberMedia showed a product that appears to be a lot more usable than the first version. "Aakash 1 was a half-baked product, launched with specs that were inadequate for real use," says CyberMedia chief editor Prasanto K. Roy. "It was also unavailable, which was, perhaps, a good thing. The new version appears to be much more usable, but we have yet to really test it," Roy adds that availability may continue to be an issue that plagues the UbiSlate, given various issues with manufacturing partners. Aakash (and for now, Akaash Teblet II) are essentially the equivalent UbiSlate models, though the future Aakash, beyond the first 100,000 units, is subject to a re-tendering process that Data wind and others are bidding for. The project, originally associated with IIT-Rajasthan, has now been moved to IIT-Bombay, after disagreements with the testing process, specs and results.
Source: CIOL World