After receiving mixed reactions to the Aakash tablet, MHRD Ministry and DataWind, the company that made the tablet; have stepped up the manufacturing of a faster and better tablet at a very similar price point. Aaskash 2 or commercially called Ubislate 7+ would be twice as fast as its predecessor and have a few new features as well and should be available from April 2012. This is confirmed by Mr. Kapil Sibal, the Union MHRD minister himself
The rather quick makeover of Aakash 1 was mainly a result of the pre release mixed reviews that the tablet got in its testing and review stages. Around 30000 Aakash tablets were given to IIT Rajasthan and students of select colleges in phase 1 of its distribution, mainly to get the initial feedback before its mass distribution. The reviews were mixed but unanimous on a few points like the speed of the tablet being on the lower side. The battery at 2100 mAh drained pretty quickly and the overall interface felt buggy and it only had WIFI option and no 3G, GPRS or SIM card functionality.
Keeping these points in mind among other minor suggestions here and there, the makers of the tablet came up with the second much improved version of the Aakash, named Aakash 2. Here is a run down on the specifications of the tablet:
- Running on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread operating system
- Screen size 7 inches
- Resistive touch screen
- 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor
- 256 Mb of RAM, 2Gb internal storage
- Memory card slot, expandable up to 32 GB
- 3200 m Ah battery
- WI-FI and GPRS network connectivity with SIM support
- USB ports for connectivity and data transfer and 3G modem connection
- HD video playback and streaming, thanks to its HD video co-processor
- Mp3 format support
- Office documents and PDF support
As you can see above the new tablet boasts of some real nice features for a tablet which is being offered at a price point of Rs. 2999 or $ 60, for the masses and even more subsidized rates for the students of various Universities across the country.
The processor on the Aakash 2 is twice as fast as its previous version and the Android operating system is upgraded from 2.2.2 Froyo to the more popular and stable 2.3.3 Gingerbread. This alone would boost its speed and overall performance to a great extent. Other interesting fact is that it’s got a HD video co-processor which means that watching full HD videos is also possible on this one, without much hassle.
The most welcome change in the tablet however has to be the SIM card and GPRS functionality. This would enable the device to be connected to internet whenever required through a cellular service provider and not depend on the availability of WI-FI. The makers are also providing a data plan at Rs. 98 for 2GB of monthly usage. Also a very nice touch is that the tablet can now recognize 3G USB modem or a 3G stick as well as a USB webcam, enabling 3G connectivity on the tablet along with video chat option. The most important change, for most people would be the better battery backup and an improved RAM performance.
All of the above features along with a good document and PDF viewer and editor, makes Aakash 2 a good package overall for all those who cannot afford the iPads and playbooks. Students too get a complete advantage of reading e-books on it and making presentations and submitting them while doing the necessary research online. At Rs. 2999, what more can you ask for….really!