India to launch $35 tablet, but MPs to use iPad/Galaxy

During June/July 2011 the government of India announced the launch of $35 tablet. It was supposed to have bee in the market by July itself but now it is expected to be launched on Oct 5, 2011. For some reason the entire project has been very confidential – there were no official press releases on the specifications of this tablet. Not sure why.

According to cnet the features of the table are,

  • Linux based
  • 2GB RAM, no hard disk but has memory card
  • Functions one can expect – Web browser, multimedia player, PDF reader, Wi-Fi, and video conferencing ability (phew!)
  • USB ports
  • Students of IIT co-designed the motherboards
  • Expected price is $35, but government wants it to fall to $10!
  • The name of the product is top secret!

Those who could see the prototype in August 2011 discovered the tablet was actually Android based. So finally the specs seem to be,

  • 7 ‘’ Touch-screen
  • 2 USB ports
  • 32GB HD
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Video-conferencing facility
  • Multimedia content

Hopefully the name of the tablet will be something which the common man can understand (which doesn’t mean it should be  named after a politician). Since this table is meant for the students across India I hope the government has ensured it supports Indian languages.

In Tamil Nadu the recently elected Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has promised to distribute “free laptops” across the state. The state expects the Central govt to fund Rs 10,200 crore for these laptops. There is going to be a huge increase in internet penetration in Tamil Nadu. I heard ISPs are coming up with special broadband packages for the users of these free laptops.

In August/Sept time frame the government sanctioned one table (iPad or Galaxy) to each Member of Parliament. Wonder why couldn’t they use this $35 tablet?

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