The affordable Aakash tablet, yet another Android pad, was released in December and already Datawind, the developer, has too many orders to fill. The Aakash tablet sold out almost immediately, proving that Datawind did not anticipate the demand for such a low-end Android pad / tablet PC.
The pre-orders that Datawind began taking in December had no money involved, which means they weren’t technically cash pre-orders but were more like physical reservations for those who waited first. Keep in mind however that the Aakash tablet is just now ready for shipping.
In the time since the orders began, Datawind has collected over 1.4 million pre-orders for the Aakash, and the more expensive UbiSlate 7+ upgraded model. In fact, The Times of India claims the sales went up to 1.4 million in just two weeks.
The general consensus here is that the Aakash tablet, and its upgraded model (UbiSlate 7+), are very, very popular. The official UbiSlate site shows that pre-orders for January and February are completely sold-out, but anyone interested can still get an order in for March.
Aakash Tablet and UbiSlate 7+ Android Pad Specifications
The Aakash tablet and the UbiSlate 7+ android pad are quite similar with exception to slight hardware changes between the lower end model and the upgraded version. Both UbiSlate android pads include 2 full size USB ports and a microSD slot for external memory upgrades (with support for up to 32GB total microSD external storage) and 2GB internal storage.
Both Android pads were designed with students in mind and support a wide selection of word processing and application document formats (DOC, TXT, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT and ODP). The UbiSlate Android pads also support standard PDF viewing for use with Adobe format documents.
The Aakash (UbiSlate 7) Android tablet and the UbiSlate 7+ Android pad include a 7″ resistive touchscreen LCD display with a supported 800×480 pixel resolution.
Aakash Tablet (UbiSlate 7) and Android Pad
The Aakash tablet ships with the Android 2.2 operating system, and is powered by an ARM11 366MHz processor, 256MB of installed memory/RAM and a 2100 mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery. The lower-end Aakash model Android pad only includes WiFi functionality for use with home wireless networks or wireless hot-spot locations.
The Aakash Tablet is on sale now for Rs. 2,499 (Indian Rupees), which is roughly $50 ($47.59).
UbiSlate 7+ Android Tablet & Android Pad
The UbiSlate 7+ android pad is a slightly more powerful android pad with higher specs to match the Rs. 2,999 ($57.10 USD price.
The UbiSlate 7+ Android pad is powered by a Cortex A8 700MHz processor, 250MB installed memory/RAM, and a more powerful 3200 mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery. The UbiSlate 7+ android pad also comes pre-installed with the Android 2.3 OS (instead of 2.2) and a pre-installed 2GB SD card.
The UbiSlate 7+ upgraded Android pad also includes full WiFi and GPRS support with external SIM and wireless phone functionality. This enables UbiSlate 7+ Android pad users to take advantage of wireless internet in any location with proper wireless service, so long as they retain an active wireless subscription.
Aakash Tablet & UbiSlate 7+ Android Pad
The Aakash tablet itself was designed by DataWind, with help from the Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan.
The Aakash tablet was designed in cooperation with the Indian government as part of a plan to offer the tablet to students and teachers and help organize a universal e-learning program between approximately 25,000 colleges and 400 universities. In order to make the Aakash tablet more available the Indian government supports subsidized pricing at roughly Rs. 1810 ($35).
The UbiSlate 7+ was later introduced to offer a slightly more powerful tablet and Android pad for nearly the same price range.
DataWind has mentioned the need to design a capacitive touchscreen tablet that can be offered for the same price as the UbiSlate series tablets. This plan can be set into motion thanks to the funding provided by the Indian government for the subsidized pricing plan as well as the general guarantee to ship a set amount of units to educational organizations.
The UbiSlate series tablets are largely successful thanks to the combination of included features and product pricing, and are also successful because DataWind chose a suitable target audience, students.
Aakash Tablet & Ubislate 7+ Android Pad Availability
As mentioned above neither of the UbiSlate series tablets is currently available for purchase due to a large amount of orders. However DataWind is currently manufacturing more Aakash tablet and UbiSlate 7+ android pad units and they will be made available sometime in March, 2012. Anyone interested in purchasing the Aakash tablet or UbiSlate 7+ Android pad should note that the official site is currently taking pre-orders for later dates.
Images courtesy of the UbiSlate website.