Aakash tablet user review pops up a few surprises

User review of World's cheapest tablet PC AakashFor all those who are eager to get their hands on theMade in India’ Aakash tablet, here’s an in-depth review of the Aakash tablet that’s made by DataWind.

First things first; let’s get one thing clear that Aakash tablet is not a sort of device you would expect hordes of processing power or buttery smooth Android experience. It is an educational device and at a very-very low cost, to empower India and its student population with the latest in technology to keep them abreast with the learning pattern of other developed countries.

Let’s get the specs on the device. (This is for the Aakash 1 tablet, an upgraded commercial version of the same is also called UbiSlate 7)

  • Runs on Android 2.2.2 Froyo Operating system.
  • ARM 11 366 MHz processor.
  • 256 Mb of RAM.
  • 2100 mAH battery.
  • 7 inch resistive touch screen.
  • WI-FI and USB connectivity.
  • 2 GB internal memory, expandable through a SD card slot.
  • UbiSurfer Browser to load web pages up to 10 times faster.
  • PDF and Document support.

Go through the first 3 points in the specs given above and you get the feeling of it being a sluggish device. Well the hand on review too has a similar response albeit not a lot of negatives and interestingly, a few surprises as well.

Screen

Well, the first impressions of the Aakash as soon as you hold the device and have a look at the screen, you would not be disappointed with it. It’s not a fancy LED with snazzy prefixes to it, but it works and reading text on this screen is not at all stressful considering the fact that it could be used for students to read a lot of content and lessons on it. The makers got this one right for sure.

OS, Speed and Touch performance

The overall experience is a bit of a let down. Not that it is a bad tablet but this could be due to the Android 2.2.2. The touch screen on the tablet takes time to respond. It could be due to its resistive nature of touch screen, mainly. The other aspect that is noticeable is even after getting a hang of the touch input, the apps take time to open up and especially when scrolling PDF or WORD files, it’s slightly sluggish. It is not an eternity but it is pretty noticeable, so patience is truly a virtue here.

Onscreen Keyboard and USB

The onscreen keyboard is pretty well spaced out on the 7 inch screen. However the problem is once you hit the keys the text takes a fraction of a second to get on to the screen. Now here is a part of the surprises talked above. The USB slot of the tablet allows you to connect a regular USB keyboard to the tablet and that is pretty fast and gives real time text input. This is a commendable feature in such a low cost tablet.

Also the USB pen drives are detected by the tablet and shows all the documents and data onboard and it is read quiet easily and smoothly. This can facilitate the idea of having all the study material and text books loaded onto a single USB drive and connected to the tablet to read and learn without having to carry books around.

Web Browsing and Document Support

The stock browser on the tablet is pretty decent and capable of browsing through most sites without any problems. The tablet comes with UbiSurfer browser pre installed by the vendor which can speed up the loading of the web pages significantly. The WI-FI works just fine on this one.

Documents and PDFs including powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets can be read without problems. However, editing is bit of a problem as the documents could not be edited and the built in text editor (more like a notepad) has to be used for editing purposes.

Audio, Video and battery

The MP3 formats play nice and easy as expected. Surprise is the videos. Video streaming and video playback is the smoothest and fastest of all the other functions on the tablet. The videos play without much glitch and a few glitches here and there are acceptable. This could be due to a dedicated chip that accelerates the media on the device. The battery life on this one is a bit on the lower side so keep a charger handy.

You can have a look at these for further reference:

One of the key problems with the Aakash Tablet os that it does not come with the Android Market, but has a Get Jar app that has a range of free apps to increase productivity of the tablet even further.

As said above, the Aakash tablet is not a power monster but it is not a dud either. For the given price range of Rs. 2500, it has got all the features that a student may need for his or her educational and at times recreational purposes. So you can surely give this version a shot as it is worth a look at this price point.

Comments

  1. Bala Krishnamurthy says:

    Just recd. a piece.

    – Very shoddy assembly. Seems like a school exercise in assembly.
    – Device is overheating dangerously.
    – Charger does not work.
    – Poor quality instructions, no user manual as such.
    – USB does not seem to read FAT32 or Ext3 pen drives.
    – The box has an image of ‘office suite’ but i see no such apps installed.

    Seems to be a scam. Datawind – I would advise taking full responsibility from design to manufacture, and not outsource so many parts to poor quality assemblers. I am seeking a full refund.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Resource Development under the unparalleled vision of Union HRD Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal, announced the launch of a low cost tablet computer called ‘Aakash’ in a tie up with DataWind, the manufacturing company of these low cost tablets also commercially […]

  2. […] receiving mixed reactions to the Aakash tablet, MHRD Ministry and DataWind, the company that made the tablet; have stepped up the manufacturing of […]

  3. […] After the actual use of the 30,000 odd Aakash tablets distributed to these institutions, the initial feedback on the Aakash tablet was warm, but pointed out to some genuine shortcomings of …. Keeping this in mind, the Government and DataWind along with  various agencies associated with […]

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