Finally, after almost 6 months delay, India’s $35 Tablet device from the Govt. of India HRD is expected to be launched, though initially only for student community, by the end of June 2011. According to a latest media report, the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India has decided to deliver up to 10,000 units of world’s cheapest priced Touchscreen Tablet PC, called SAKSHAT to IIT Rajasthan at the end of June 2011 with promise to deliver 90,000 tablets more with in next quarter.
Rumored to be priced at the subsidized (50%) price of Rs. 1,100 per unit, the SAKSHAT Tablet dubbed as India’s $35 Tablet was originally expected to be introduced to higher education institutions in early 2011 and the department aimed to bring the price further down to $20 (Rs. 960) and ultimately to $10 (Rs. 480) making it cheaper than cheapest mobile phone Nokia and Vodafone in India which comes for Rs. 999/-
As planned, the IIT-Rajasthan has successfully completed intensive laboratory and field tests of this $35 tablet PC across the country at different times and under different weather conditions, to gauge the efficiency of the computers and HCL Technologies is believed to be building the tablet device which would mostly be available to student community.
Originally unveiled on 23 July 2010, the SAKSHAT (meaning Capable) tablet PC project has already secured an allocation of Rs. 30 crores and these $35 tablet devices would initially be made 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 operating system, the India’s $35 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 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.