A couple of weeks back, the govt of India announced the release of Aakash , the cheapest tablet which will be available for students @ Rs.1500 (US $30). However, a series of reviewers have questioned the quality and reliability of the product. No doubt, nobody can compare such product with the Samsung Galaxy or the iPad, but it should at least be practically usable product with a minimum non-maintenance lifespan. However, with the quality of wires and over the shelf parts used inside, the durability of the product is highly questionable.

Aakash does have two USB ports which is welcome considering the fact that most Indian students are used to the USB thing. It also has some android apps pre-loaded like the Documents to Go and arXiv Droid. However, it runs on the old Android OS and not the Android Gingerbread. One big disadvantage is that the user cannot get more apps on in from the Android marketplace. Also the device doesn’t support a majority of common file formats like the .avi. The touch response of the screen is too weak and might be frustrating for the user.  With a battery life of just 3.5 hours which is pretty less compared to other tablets in the market, Aakash doesn’t score when it comes to comparison with others.

No doubt the attempt by the students to create this is commendable, but instead of focusing only on making it cheapest, they should have put in some quality and durability considering the usage. Example, the tablet gets heated very quickly and in the kind of hot climate in India, this tablet can get into trouble. For those who can afford around 10K, I would suggest them to look for those alternatives  rather than wait for a product which is not set for quality and usability and is specifically made with a purpose of lowering price.

The following video is IBN Live’s take on the Aakash Tablet:

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