Commercial version of India's Aakash 2 tablet launched in UK

Tags: News
A commercial version of India's low-cost Aakash 2 tablet computer has been launched in Britain at a cost of 30 pounds.

The UbiSlate 7Ci, made by UK-based company Datawind, is based on Aakash 2, which is mainly used by students in India and was designed to provide cheap internet access to help improve education.

The 7 inch Android tablet has wi-fi connectivity, 512MB of RAM, a microUSB connection and 4GB of storage, BBC reported yesterday.

When the Aakash was launched in India in 2011 it was dubbed the "world's cheapest touch-screen tablet" and was aimed at schools and colleges. The first version was not well received by critics, but an upgraded version, the Aakash 2, fared better.

Speaking at the Wired 2013 conference in October, Suneet Singh Tuli, who founded Datawind, said getting online was all about affordability.

"It's not just about creating low-cost devices, for us it's about delivering the internet," he said.

A partnership with the Indian government helped the Aakash 2 became one of the country's best-selling tablets.

"At the start of this year we became the largest supplier of tablet computers in India, ahead of both Apple and Samsung," said Tuli.

The company said it could afford to sell the product at such a low price as the cost of the hardware was offset with revenue from content and advertising.

"The reality is that with any consumer electronics device you get what you pay for," said Ben Wood, an analyst at research company CCS Insight.

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