When we first heard of the $35 tablet that the Indian Government was planning to make, most of us rubbished it off as yet another pipe dream. If that wasn't enough, most people were still not convinced even after a working prototype was displayed on a gadget show. If you were one of those who are still not convinced that India would be able to pull this one off, here's some more dope for you.
Apparently, the Indian HRD ministry has finalised a launch date for the Sakshat (as it is known). The $35 tablet would be launched on January 11, 2011. While confirmation regarding the $35 price tag is yet to be ascertained, there have been multiple occasions where Kapil Sibal, the Minister of Human Resource Development, has reaffirmed that it would be priced at $35 and that the price would only go lower in the future.
Should India manage to pull this off, many experts would be left red faced for their comments which pooh poohed the Sakshat to be just vaporware. The main bone of contention regarding the Sakshat was its price and the doubt if any manufacturer would come forward and help mass produce the device. However, that problem has been solved thanks to HCL which has tied up with the ministry to manufacture the Sakshat.
The Android based Sakshat is surprisingly feature packed for its price. Although its target audience would be university and college students, many people are already wondering about the possibility of such a device going into mass production. We think the Sakshat has the ability to bring computing to a whole new section of users who until now could only dream of going online or compute. A mass produced Sakshat would also mean a significant increase in Android's footprint.
As for the Sakshat, from what we know till now, it would come in three different screen sizes of 5-inches, 7-inches and 9-inches. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, a USB port, and 2GB of on-board storage. Thanks to Android, it supports full HTML internet browsing and support for flash.
With over 8,500 colleges across the country already having expressed interest in getting themselves the Sakshat, looks like this has all the ingredients to become a rare Indian Government success story. Let's wait and watch!
Image courtesy: NDTV