What is Aakash Tablet PC?
Aakash is a low cost tablet PC, developed by a company called "DataWind" for the Government of India.
The device has been developed as part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, with the aim to offer low cost "
laptops computers computing devices" for the students and people in rural areas to access streaming course material and researching web based content online. The target price for students is $35. Various government agencies and IITs in India were part of the process of procuring and testing this device.
This program was projected as "Low cost laptops for students" by the government, but Aakash is not really a laptop. It is a tablet PC with a 7" touch screen.
This tablet computer is sold to Government of India for a price of US$50 (approximately Rs 2225) but is available to students at a discounted price of $35 (approx Rs 1750) as promised by the government. Government covers the difference in price ($15). A commercial version of this tablet is available for Rs 2999 (US$ 67).
Aakash include component from various countries including USA, China and South Korea. The Touch Screen is made in S Korea and the Micro processor comes from USA. Overall, 40% of the components of Aakash are from South Korea, 24% from China, 16% from India and 16% from USA. The board is made in the factory in India. This product is assembled in Hyderabad, India.
History of Aakash Tablet PC
This project was originally called "Sakshat Tablet PC". The name was changed to Aakash Low Cost Access Device (LCAD) for unknown reasons.
Government of India announced low cost laptops for students few years ago. Government even showcased a prototype last year, which was a tablet made in China. The one launched this year is different from what was showcased earlier, but looks much better.
National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) handed over the job of procuring and testing the low cost tablets to IIT Rajasthan at Jodhpur. After following an open tender process and evaluating various options "DataWind" was selected to come up with the low cost tablet computers to fullfill the government's mission to bring computers to the mass in India.
On 5 Oct 2011, Union Minister for Human Resourced Development Shri Kapil Sibal launched "Aakash tablet PC". It was distributed to 500 children on the launch ceremony.
In the current phase of this project, Government will buy and distribute 1 lakh Aakash tablets to students in India at a subsidized price of Rs 1750. Government will be buying these devices at a price of Rs 2250.
Price of Aakash Tablet PC
Discounted Price for students: Rs 1,750 (US$ 35)
Manufacturing cost: $37.98
Price paid by Government of India: Rs 2,250
Commercial version (UbiSlate 7) retail price: Rs 2,999
The device is currently not available for retail purchase. However, you can book your device at no cost, but there is no guarantee that you will get one soon. Learn how to buy Aakash tablet PC.
The version of Aakash distributed to students by the government comes with a 1 year replacement warranty. However, the more expensive retail version comes with only a 3 months replacement warranty.