India tries again for low-cost tablet


The Indian government and British developer DataWind announced Nov. 11 the release of version 2.0 of the Aakash Android tablet. The Indian government subsidizes purchase of the tablet for students (at a price of Rs 1,130, or about $20) and touts it as an educational tool.

Originally intended as a low-cost laptop, version 1 of the tablet has come under criticism for overheating and poor user experience. The newest version comes with an updated Android operating system and a more powerful processor. A DataWind release promises "a rich and much smother touch-screen user experience."

Previous attempts to place low-cost technology into developing countries' schools have had mixed success. However, Mike Trucano, World Bank's Senior information and communications technology and education policy specialist, noted in a blog post last year that demand for a low cost tablet is high.

"People have long been waiting for a computing device to break through at scale for use by the masses in developing countries, and the demand for *something* is almost palpable," he said.

For more:
- go to an announcement of the Aakash V 2.0 tablet from the Indian Press Information Bureau

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