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India's Aakash tablet attracts 1.4 million bookings, but few have seen it in action

 January 5 2011: The lowcost India-made tablet PC for students Aakash, has attracted 1.4 million pre-orders according to its makers, Datawind. The Rs 2500 ( approx. $50) machine is a 7 inch Android-based connectivity device powerded by an ARM11 366 MHz processor. Government subsidies are expected to bring down the cost to around $ 35. Datawind has also had success with a slightly beefed up version for the general market in India -- the UbiSlate 7, priced around  Rs 3000,  which is fuelled by a faster ARM processor ( 700 MHz) and allows user to plug in a mobile phone SIM card for Internet access.

However with few Akash tablets actually in use and almost none available for evaluation by the media, it is difficult to judge how it measures up against user expectation from tablets. Reactions have ranged from ecstatic -- from TV channels like NDTV who were given privileged access not available to other media -- to severe panning by reviewers at the web portal who managed to get their hands on a piece.

Datawind is reported to be planning satellite manufacturing facilities in Kochi, Kerala and Noida near Delhi to augment its plant in Hyderabad, to help
India’s Low-Cost Aakash Tablet Pre-Orders Hit 1.4 Million  
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