Feeds

India's low cost tablet dream lives on with Aakash IV

But Brit biz Datawind may not get contract this time around

High performance access to file storage

The Indian government is pushing ahead with plans for a new and improved low-cost Aakash tablet for students which it hopes will reinvigorate a project hit by countless delays.

The technical specs of the proposed Android-based Aakash IV have been posted to the web sites of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to allow stakeholders to comment.

The seven incher should be no more than 500g in weight and 0.75in thick, with a minimum of 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM, alongside at least 4GB internal storage which can be expanded by up to 32GB with an SD card, according to the proposals.

Battery capacity should be enough for at least three hours of 720p video playback and five hours of web browsing.

The government wants to stick with “the latest Android stable version” but said the tablet needs to be dual bootable through an external SD card to also offer the latest version of Ubuntu.

Browser-wise it needs HTML5 support and the default language of the device will be set to English, although support for multiple Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi is a must.

As a learning tool for students, there is also a strict requirement for USB, mouse, keyboard, and “all popular” 2G, 3G and 4G data dongles to be supported.

In a blow to UK firm Datawind, which produced the first two iterations of the Aakash, the government said it hadn’t decided who would be awarded the lucrative contract this time around.

The firm may well be fearing the worst, given that the project has been plagued by problems up to this point.

The first version of the tablet, launched in October 2011, was roundly slated, mainly because of its poor resistive touchscreen.

Things got even worse when Datawind had a falling out with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur and IIT Rajasthan – organisations leading the project at a regional level – which ended up delaying shipments.

The project seemingly got back on track last year after Datawind launched the Aakash 2 – a slightly higher spec’d version with an improved (capacitive) touchscreen.

There have still been grumbles, however, that despite the extremely low cost – just Rs 1,130 ($US24.65) to students – the device simply isn’t good enough.

Further shipping delays have imperilled the project again, so the Aakash IV may be the government’s last chance to get things right and finally put a tablet in the hands of millions of students in 25,000 colleges and 400 universities across the sub-continent. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.