The customer feedback for Datawind was from ‘decent’ to ‘average’ and in some cases even below par. Datawind had also setup a customer care helpline for the Aakash and Ubislate (name of the commercial version), but it was unable to withstand the volume of calls and the company admitted that the response was ‘overwhelming’, thus subtly accepting their inability to match the orders and also respond to customer queries.
The first Aakash had very outdated specs and one of Android’s buggiest OS versions, namely 2.2 Froyo. Though the processor and the OS were upgraded to 700 MHz and Android 2.3, respectively but still it gave a very disappointing tablet experience. Yes, some might argue that it was Rs. 2500 tablet, but still some better show was expected. Secondly, very few got the tablet, while for most of the online orders; the delivery took as long as 6-7 months and leaving many without receiving their tablet. These factors left a sour taste among those who wished to own the Datawind Aakash tablet.
As of today, yet another upgrade to its Ubislate tablets is announced along side the launch of the Aakash 2 tablet. These tablets are Ubislate 7Ci (the commercial version of the Aakash 2), Ubislate 7C+ and the Ubislate 7Cz. The feedback for these is far better than what it was for the Aakash and Ubislate 7. Datawind for once has made a clear guideline for the delivery schedules and the priority of various deliveries based on the mode of payment which you can find at www.ubislate.com/device-specification/index.html .
The tablet itself is priced at Rs. 4499 for the Aakash 2 equivalent. Its has better response, thanks to its 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and ICS or Android 4.0 operating system. Moreover it has a 7 inch capacitive touch screen this time as opposed to the resistive one on its predecessor. Apart from that the tablet comes with proprietary browser called Datawind Ubisurfer, that can compress webpages to speed up browsing and reduce data cost. The tablet is however restricted by its WIFI only version and results in limitations of internet usage to places only where WIFI is available.
The tablet also has 3G capabilities via an external dongle and has a front facing VGA camera for video chat. Apart from the basic Google stuff, the tablet does not have much apps or software, but does throw in Google Playstore, so you can download what you like. Office reader and editor are present along with a PDF reader. Youtube videos play well in the app but are a mess if played in the browser. The student version is said to have a few more educational software and apps preloaded and may also contain various lessons from different grades. The screen is pretty decent with 800 x 480 resolution. Overall the usage is pretty decent.
The other two variants, Ubislate 7C+ and Ubislate 7Cz fair the same in terms of performance, which is fairly acceptable and reasonable for its pricing. However they have calling capabilities and can have GPRS internet for staying connected on-the-go. The 7Cz also comes with Dual camera and Bluetooth features. The 7C+ comes for Rs. 4999 and the 7Cz comes for Rs. 5999.
Overall, it is safe to say that Datawind has taken efforts to improve on the deliveries and the performance issues of the tablets, though there is still a long way to go, but its looks promising so far. For the current version of Ubislates or Aakash tablet it must be said that they offer pretty good functionality for the price at which they are offered. But then again spend an extra 500 or 1000 bucks and you have some nice offerings from the likes of Micromax and Karbonn who give better performance and features and have immediate deliveries. Choice is yours.