Everything you need to know about the Aakash tablet PC

By Kul Bhushan | Updated 10 Jan 2012
Everything you need to know about the Aakash tablet PC

With the arrival of the ultra low-cost Aakash tablet PC, the dynamics of the Indian tablet market have changed significantly. Prior to the Aakash tablet, the market already had various low-cost budget tablets such as Beetel's Magiq and Reliance 3G Tab. However, the Aakash tablet thumped everyone in the segment with its ultra low-price of Rs. 2,500. Other manufacturers are yet to announce an Aakash rival, which we certainly don't see coming in a near future. Until then, the Aakash has its way in the market.


Even before the Aakash tablet was unveiled, the device was already a serious topic of discussion across the world. Now, after its release - many just see the tablet as suitable for price-sensitive markets such as India, others believe the tablet isn't just good enough! Logic has been put behind both the aspects, and it is quite tough to say which side makes more sense - for in fact, both make sense. The low cost ensures everyone in the country will be eligible to lay hands on a tablet. And at the same time, people need not spend on the Aakash, if they can afford a better endowed tablet such as the iPad 2.

The Aakash tablet was released online in early December, and sold out in less than a week! The tablet was later put on sale on the online shopping site NCarry.com, which registered more than 1.4 million pre-orders for the Aakash tablet. However, DataWind evidently seemed unprepared for such a massive response. The absence of a proper customer support service channel has caused lot of problems for Aakash enthusiasts. In spite of providing a helpline number and recent e-mail support, most of the customers are still clueless about the status of their deliveries. Subsequently, DataWind has been at the receiving end of severe criticism, not just for its paltry support but also for several flip flops on booking and delivery dates, and rules. Adding to the confusion, DataWind revised the name of its tablets (Aakash is now UbiSlate 7 and Aakash 2 is UbiSlate 7 ).


Aakash (UbiSlate 7): Features Outlined

As above said, the Aakash tablet does not come with very impressive features. The low-cost tablet has a seven-inch resistive touschscreen with 800x480 pixel resolution. The device is powered by an ARM11 – 366MHz processor. It has a 2,100 mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 3 hours of back up, depending upon usage. The device has 256MB of RAM and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo operating system. Since its mainly aimed at the students, the device supports several document formats including DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT and ODP. The tablet can also run a PDF viewer and text editor. For browsing, the device supports xHTML 1.1 and JavaScript 1.8. Also, it features UbiSurfer-Browser with compression/acceleration and IE8 rendering. The Aakash tablet has 2 full-sized USB ports and a microSD slot with which storage can be expandable up to 32 GB. The Aakash has a separate application for YouTube. For connectivity, the UbiSlate 7 supports GPRS and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g. The Aakash tablet also features Nimbuzz software, through which one can access various instant messaging applications. For safety and other standards compliance, the tablet has been accredited with CE certification / RoHS certification.

How to get the Aakash tablet?

If you are planning to buy an Aakash tablet, all you need to do is visit DataWind's Aakash websites – www.aakashtablet.com andwww.ubislate.com. However, the tablet features as 'sold out' on the website, thus you may have to wait for few weeks/months to lay hands on the tablet. Also, you can call up at DataWind's helpline no. - 1800-180-2-180. You can send your queries atsupportin@datawind.com. You can also place your Aakash order with Ncarry.com. You can contact them 1800-103-3155. It’s notable that the helpline no. is open from 8am to 8pm. To know more, read our Guide to get support for Aakash tablet PC after pre-order.


As we have pointed out in our previous coverages, getting an Aakash tablet for yourself seems to be a daunting task! The poor support system may leave you out of the loop regarding your order, as many have reported. The absence of an online tracking system may also cause problems for you. DataWind has appealed for patience from its customers, saying it is working to meet the massive orders. However, it seems unlikely DataWind will meet the orders within the stipulated period of time. The company plans to open three new manufacturing units in the country but that may take some time to happen. Meanwhile, the Aakash enthusiasts will have to wait for their turn.

Aakash 2 (UbiSlate 7 ): Features Detailed

However, it may be fruitful to wait, if you decide to lay your hands on the upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, also known as the UbiSlate 7 . The Aakash 2 has various improved features such as Cortex A8 – 700 MHz processor and a 3,200 mAh battery. The UbiSlate 7 runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform. Also, apart from Wi-Fi connectivity, it has support for 3G modems. Two full-sized USB ports are integrated into the unit allowing pen-drives, external keyboards, web-cams, dongles and other inexpensive peripherals to be attached. The Aakash 2 a.k.a UbiSlate 7 costs you Rs. 2,999, which is certainly not a bad deal. The UbiSlate 7 is sold out till February however, though pre-orders are on for March.


Other alternatives to the Aakash tablet can be the newly launched ClassPad, Beetel Magiq Glide, Reliance 3G Tab, Spice Mi-720 and IdeaPad A1. However, these tablets mainly belong to the Rs. 10,000 category. We will soon come up with comprehensive article on alternatives to the Aakash tablet. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more Aakash updates.

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Kul Bhushan

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