By Anshul Tewari:
On 23rd July, 2010, a happy Kapil Sibal (HRD Min) and a proud Indian Government unveiled the prototype of an iPad-like touch-screen laptop, with a price tag of $35 (roughly Rs. 1600), which it hopes to roll out next year. Sibal created history with his words, “in the year 2011, the sun will rise for the children of our country“.
This tablet will be aimed largely at students, supporting web browsing, video conferencing and word processing, say the developers, who are students of top IT colleges of the country. The best part — Mr. Sibal said that the plan was ultimately to drop the price to $20 (Rs. 1000 aprrox) and then to $10 (Rs. 500 [WHOA!]). Unveiling the gadget, the human resource development minister told the Economic Times newspaper it was India’s answer to the “$100 laptops” developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
According toÂ Indian Express, it has a 5/7/9-inch touchscreen, and, on the software side, it sports a web browser, PDF reader, office software, media player, multimedia input/output capabilities, video conferencing (which means it has a camera) and remote device management capability – all of it open-source and Linux-based.
This tablet has surely made an uproar in the International market with the world’s best journalism houses to independent websites like Mashable grabbing a scoop of it.
The device has surely emerged as a tough neck for the iPad in the Indian markets, however, it does not support all that the iPad does. The device is certainly not an all inclusive one. BUT, considering the fact that India is in dire need of merging technology with education to have a better quality educational output — this device, once launched in 2011, could be a major breakthrough in the education sector.
The current Rs. 1600 price of this device makes it the world’s cheapest tablet. Also, theÂ afford-abilityÂ of the device could ensure easy access to information. If this device is made mandatory in schools and higher institutions then learning could be absolutely amazing.
This device could also be a tough competition to the net books in India, and a great deal for travellers who wish to have easy access to the internet.
In the press conference, Sibal mentioned, “the motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything.”
I am still not very convinced about the quality of the product and theÂ longevityÂ of the same. BUT, from what we see as of now, this is simple AMAZING. To top it all, you get all this in just $35. [I know am saying it again and again, but this is really the best part].
Sibal said that the device should be made available in 2011 once they get a manufacturer.
After this tech-breakthrough, and many more to come, the big question is: Will you buy the affordable and loaded touch screen tablet? Do let us know by dropping a comment below or tweeting us @YouthKiAwaaz. You can also email us at [email protected]
The writer is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Youth Ki Awaaz, and also a tech enthusiast.
Image courtesy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10740817