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.


  1. First of all considering its price, I think it has decent features for a student’s use. I think Datawind is UK based and not Canada based as stated. Regarding Apps, Our National Programme of Technology Enabled Learning has lots of video lectures, simulations, mock tests etc useful for students.Apart from that, supports GetJar store whcih was started earlier than Android.Aakash site advertise it as over 150,000 apps! So lots there in apps if not from Android store. (I think I read at their website that ….Android apps, might be wrong)
    As you said Aakash will have GPRS +SIM slot. Its the first 10K units, these are not there. Later units will have them with no extra charge. One can use 3G dongle.
    Regarding MPEG4 and MP4, I dont think will make much difference-as you said might require a conversion if necessary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14

    1. Thanks for the correction. The Aakash has got just just 2 USB slots and with if one is connected to the keyboard and another to the 3G dongle, then we aren’t left with any USB slot. In-built 3G would be a better option. As you said it being available after 10k devices, lets wait and hope for it to happen :)

      1. For a device of this type, I wont say ‘Jus’t 2 USB slots.Having 2 Regular full sized USB slots itself is rare in such devices. I think Aakash was specifically designed to hsve full sized USB. Normally in tablets you have small sized USB that too only one. Very rarely you’ll get full sized that too in 2 Nos.

      2. Can a dongle be connected to the aakash tab,so i can access the internet through the dongle without using wifi.

    2. Yes, considering the price it has decent features. First thing, Froyo is underpower for Aakash since it has 366MHz CPU instead of Froyo Eclair/Donut should have powered Aakash.

      Regarding apps, Aakash has too low clocks to run any heavy applications and as you said about GetJar store, its Java app store where you won’t find any quality app as compared to Android store.

      It’s nearly impossible to run any quality Android app instead light weight java apps run on it easily. I still doubt regarding the HD playback on such a weak CPU.

      1. May be in near future Aakash might come with a bit more of CPU power at same price. But the point to note the processor Connexant is aided by Graphics accelerator and a HD Video processor . The hands on test on running Youtube videos showsit runs smoothly. May be CPU power as stated earlier should be added.

        1. Though its running YouTube HD videos, it doesn’t run on native 1080p/720p since the stock resolution is not at all capable to run HD.

          Don’t expect CPU performance to increase at SAME PRICE at least for couple of months.

          I’ll be reviewing Aakash soon, will clarify everything after that.

          1. I think within 6 months, Aakash new ver will be launched with better CPU and might add a camera also with a slight increase of price or they might surprise keeping the prices same. Yes Hands on Review will be the best but one must not expect an iPad kind of performance with Aakash.

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