Aakash2 - A $20 (world's cheapest) android tablet
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Aakash (sky) version 2 or Aakash-2 is the latest offering from a Canadian company Datawind. It is an android based tablet that is backed by Indian government to fulfill it's plan of empowering every student with a tablet. The real cost of tablet is around $35 to $40 but it will be provided at a subsidized rate of $20 to students in India. It is being hyped as a game changer in the Indian education sector where the quality of education for the students belonging to economically weaker section is not as per standards.
The journey of this project has not been smooth. The first version of this tablet, Aakash-1 (running Android 2.2) was highly criticized because of it's quality and performance. An excerpt from firstpost regarding it's features says :
It had an ARM11 processor clocked at 366 Mhz, with only 256 MB RAM, which would mean a terribly slow experience as far as Android is concerned. Aakash 1 had a 2100 milli amp batter (mAh) which roughly translates to one and a half hours which is low by any standards.
Not only the features and performance, the company came under heavy criticism for being not able to deliver the tablet to all the consumers who placed order for it. A complete list of features for Aakash-1 can be found on Wiki
Here is more information of this tablet from Wikipedia:
If you compare these features with the features of Aakash-1, you will see a good amount of improvement. Many reviews have still criticized the capabilities of this tablet but my personal opinion is this version of Aakash tablet would serve it's main purpose which is to empower poor students with latest technology and improve the education scenario in India. One thing is clear enough that it is not for those who are in habit of comparing tablets with the likes of iPad etc.
A review excerpt from Engadget :
The Aakash 2 is certainly no threat to the iPad or the Nexus 7, but we're actually pretty impressed with what is served up for less than the price of an Amazon Prime subscription: 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of expandable storage, Android 4.0 and a capacitive touchscreen. Now, there are some serious issues with the device that would probably prove to be deal breakers for Western consumers -- even at such a negligible price -- but it's important to remember the target audience here. That being said, this is light years beyond other cheap tablets we've toyed with in the past. The Matrix One, Novo 7 and Novo 7 Basic actually feel significantly cheaper and are quite a bit bulkier than the Ubislate 7Ci and performance wise they're simply no competition. The Aakash is hardly a speed demon, trudging through SunSpider in 3,767ms, but it simply blew the MIPS-powered Novo devices out of the water. In general the UI was responsive, and less demanding tasks like reading e-books and checking email were pretty painless. Even HD video on YouTube proved to be no problem for this tiny slate.
Here are some of the important links related to Aakash-2 :
Here is a video review of this tablet :