The UbiSlate 7Ci, made by UK-based company Datawind, is the commercial version of the Aakash 2 tablet, which was originally launched in India. There, the tablet is mainly used by students and was designed to provide cheap internet access to help improve education.
The 7in (18cm) Android tablet has wi-fi connectivity, 512MB of RAM, a microUSB connection and 4GB of storage. It has a three-hour battery life and allows users to watch online tutorials and videos, browse the internet and play games.
When the Aakash was launched in India in 2011 it was dubbed the “world’s cheapest touch-screen tablet” and was aimed at schools and colleges. The first version was not well received by critics, but an upgraded version, the Aakash 2, fared better.
Speaking at the Wired 2013 conference in October, Suneet Singh Tuli, who founded Datawind, said getting online was all about affordability.
Mr Tuli said, “It’s not just about creating low-cost devices, for us it’s about delivering the internet. At the start of this year we became the largest supplier of tablet computers in India, ahead of both Apple and Samsung.”
A partnership with the Indian government helped the Aakash 2 become one of the country’s best-selling tablets. The company said it could afford to sell the product at such a low price as the cost of the hardware was offset with revenue from content and advertising.