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India launches £13 tablet for students

Today the Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, launched a new tablet aimed at students and low income families. Costing just Rs 1,130 (£13) for those still in further education. The “Aakash 2″ comes with 512MB of RAM, a 1Ghz, processor and a 7” capacitive touch screen.

The little device is being manufactured by Datawind, who's CEO Suneet Tuli said in a statement: “The price is Rs 2,263 at which the government purchases the device from us. The government subsidises it by 50 per cent and it will be distributed to students at Rs 1,130.”

Aakash 2
The Aakash 2 in all its 1Ghz glory

Apparently this price isn't final though. According to Mr Tuli, there have been attempts to get local governments to further subsidise the device, perhaps leading to even lower purchase prices for individuals. However they are already heading out to certain universities and institutions, with over 20,000 expected to have been bought up by this time next week.

This isn't a new phenomenon in India though, which has already seen the first generation of low cost Aakash. That version featured half as much memory (256MB) and an ARM 11 processor at 366Mhz and Android 2.2 Froyo. Despite the weaker hardware, it had a higher price tag than its sequel, costing students around £20 for each one.

The new Aakash 2 will feature Android 4.0, but can also run Linux if desired and has around four hours of battery life.

KitGuru Says: Projects like this are a great idea as it makes the kind of technology that graduates will find themselves using in the worldwide workforce, much more accessible and therefore more familiar.

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