It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Aakash was a tablet that turned heads all round the world. A pet project of the Indian government, it was initially conceived as the final solution to the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) challenge.
The idea was to make a laptop so cheap that it’d be affordable to every student around the world, including those from the poorest parts of a developing nation like India. The $10 price tag grabbed eyeballs alright, but eventually the entire project morphed into the production of a $35 tablet instead.
A British company called Datawind was chosen to produce the Aakash by modifying its own budget Ubislate tablet. Despite issues with low specs, poor battery life and the likes, Datawind claimed that the entire stock of the Ubislate/Aakash was sold out a few months back.
As it turns out now, the second generation of this incredibly low cost Android tablet is on its way in April, with a $40 price tag. The new tablet will have a Cortex A8 processor at a 700 MHz clock speed, which is about twice as fast as the first version of the Aakash.
The battery life is expected to top 3 hours, which may be quite underwhelming to most, but remember – it still exceeds the Aakash 1′s battery life by over an hour. Moreover, its price is a fraction of that of its competition in the tablet market, and some corners end up needing to be cut to reach a $40 price point.
The Ubislate 7+ (aka Aakash 2) may not register in the radar of people who stand for hours in queue for the new iPad’s launch. It instead has a different target group, as it offers people, who couldn’t dream of complementing their education with technology, a genuine chance of using a tablet that isn’t beyond their means.