Where can the Aakash tablet go wrong

Everyone was excited and pumped up when the Aakash tablet was launched. Dubbed as the cheapest tablet in the world, the Aakash tablet, formerly known as the Sakshat tablet, is manufactured by a UK-based firm, Datawind. Its launch was aimed at equipping a tablet into the hands of every student in India. A Government initiative you can say. When it was launched, it didn’t disappoint. But neither did it satisfy everyone’s wish. Here are a few things which I feel can go wrong with the Aakash tablet.

1. Andrid 2.2 Froyo version: The Aakash tablet runs on the Android 2.2 Froyo version which cannot be further upgraded. Neither can you download apps from the Android marketplace which is famous for the quality and number of useful apps. In such a situation, students, for whom this tablet is primarily targeted, will be forced to use the existing apps and functionalities everytime because there is no room for something new or experimentation. Kinda sucks because students need to update themselves all the time and all this time, they need a machine/device which has the capability to update itself with time. The Aakash tablet doesn’t!

2. No 3G for students edition: The Aakash tablet will be available to the students at a subsidized price of $30-35. The commercial version, called as the Ubislate, will be available for $60. Ubislate features Wi-Fi+3G along with the capability to act as a phone with the additional support for a SIM while the Aakash tablet has got only Wi-Fi in its cradle with no SIM support. Now in a country like India, Wi-Fi is a scarcity, especially in rural areas where Aakash is expected to hit the maximum number of sales. With no Wi-Fi, the student will be forced to move to areas having Wi-Fi facility just to connect to the Internet? Isn’t that a bad move? Nowadays, students tend to spend a major chink of daily time on Internet and with no 3G, won’t it affect the student badly? I feel very badly. As a solution, students may need to buy the commercial version, Ubislate, which contains a SIM and 3G too, costing around $60 (dropping the tag of $35). But this isn’t that good a move since the Aakash is targeted for students.

3. No loudspeakers: Oh yes, rumors are afloat that the Aakash tablet has loudspeakers but in fact, it doesn’t. For audio output, it has only got a 3.5mm jack. So everytime a student needs to listen something, he will need to plug in the headphones. In case if he/she forgot them back at home, then it would mean no sound for him/her for the rest of day at school. Not good.

4. No MP4 support: The Aakash tablet supports only the following formats when it comes to videos: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV which means the MP4 format videos wont play. Just in case they need to be played, they have to be converted. And for that you may need an app from the marketplace which you cannot download since there is no marketplace access!

So to those who are very serious about buying the Aakash tablet, I would probably recommend them to go through these points before they make up their mind.

For more info about the Aakash tablet, visit its official website.

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