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Akash sold out; pre-bookings open for upgraded version

K.V. Kurmanath
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Students proudly show their
PTI Students proudly show their "Akash", the locally-made touch screen computer costing Rs 2,200/-.

Forget about Akash, gizmo lovers can aspire for a better tablet. With Akash turning out to be a rage, Datawind has announced pre-bookings of Ubislate 7, the upgraded version of Akash.

“We have closed bookings for Akash and opened online pre-bookings for the second generation Akash tablet,” a company spokesperson said.

Billed to be the world's lowest priced tablet, Akash generated huge interest ever since it was showcased by the Union Information Technology and Telecom Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, in October. As soon as the company announced online sales last week, there was a virtual scramble by tablet lovers to lay their hands on the tablet, forcing the company to close bookings within a few days.

Though the company has not come out with registration figures for Akash, it had earlier indicated that it was targeting the students to sell the first generation 7-inch Akash, powered by Android 2.2 with Wi-Fi and USB connectivity.

Features of Ubislate 7

Ubislate 7 is priced at Rs 2,999 as against Rs 2,500 of Akash. Slated for January shipments, Ubislate will have Android 2.3 operating system, with Wi-Fi and GPRS facilities, allowing the users to use a sim.

The Akash-2 version comes with a more efficient processor Cortex A8 – 700 MHz as against its predecessor's Arm11 – 366MHz.

It also comes with a better lung power with a 3200 mAh battery (2100 mAh).

QUAD (Quality Under Able Dynamics) Electronics has bagged the order to manufacture the tablet at its facility in Hyderabad.

With over 1,100 employees, including 65 engineers the company can churn out 1,000 tablets a day.

kurmanath@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 20, 2011)
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