The HCL Technologies has announced that the company would, in association with the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India, help build over 100,000 of world’s cheapest priced Touchscreen Tablet PC, called SAKSHAT. This ultra0low cost tablet like device is expected to be priced at Rs. 1,650 or $35 and is primarily aimed at student community.
India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal also says that his department had started talks with global manufacturers to start mass production.
The human resource development (HRD) ministry also announced that the IIT-Rajasthan will carry out intensive laboratory and field tests of this $35 tablet PC across the country.
Originally unveiled on 23 July 2010, the SAKSHAT tablet PC project has already secured an allocation of Rs.30 crore and these $35 computers is expected be be available to university-level students from the second half of next year.
IIT-Rajasthan is to conduct field trials in different parts of the country, at different times and under different weather conditions, to gauge the efficiency of the computers.
Once the SAKSHAT Tablet PC passes the field tests, the government is expected to procure 1 million units in the first phase, making them available to undergraduate and postgraduate students across the country.
The SAKSHAT Tablet PC
Weighing 1.5 Kgs, the touchscreen Tablet form factor computing device is believed to have 8.9 x 7 inches wide touchscreen display and packs Internet browsers, a PDF reader and video conferencing applications facilities and its hardware is claimed to be created with ample flexibility to incorporate new hardware features.
Based on Open Source Linux operating system or Google Android v2.1 (Eclare), the Tablet device does not feature any hard-drive but believed to offer flash memory based storage solutions supporting upto 2GB RAM. In addition it is believed to include WiFi 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, Fixed Ethernet port, GSM and 3G Support, SIM card slot, front facing camera, microphone and microUSB ports.
The display size in this device is rumored to be between 5-inch and 9-inch and the device most likely includes build-in speakers. Also there is no mention of its name but according to some rumors this world’s cheapest Tablet device would be called SAKSHAT meaning ‘Capable’.
The Tablet PC can not only support video-web conferencing, but also boasts of several other useful features such as multimedia viewers for video, pictures/images and music files supporting pdf/docx/ods/adp/xls/jpeg/gif/png/bmp/odt/zip/AVCHD/AVI and AC3 file formats.
The device is also believed to offer support for PDF reader, Archiving tools, Open Office suite of application which is a free open source alternative to MS Office and totally compatible with Word, Excel, and Power-Point, SciLab for printing support, audio and video media player capable of playing streamed along with stored media files.
The device is also equipped with sleek looking Solar Panel used for charging batteries and is developed by research teams at India’s premier technological institutes, the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science.
Price and Availability
The SAKSHAT tablet device is expected to be available for students for $35 equivalent price in sometime after second half of next year 2011.