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Watch out for the $50 Tablet

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Last year we found out that India has been working on providing a super cheap tablet for their students, and while the first model was definitely satisfied the “super-cheap” expectation — $35 USD — it didn’t live to its potential. Now they’re having another go at it, and the new Aakash Tablet series appears to offer a much better package for students.

The Indian Government has been pushing for a greater integration of technology in their education system. It’s already implemented Wifi in 1,200 colleges and 600 universities. Eventually, the devices will only cost $35 USD per student and $41 USD for commercial purposes. Like students in the U.S., access to tablets will grant Indian students the ability to not only access the internet, but to aslso say good bye to expensive and heavy textbooks.

The divices will carry price-tags between $41 for the cheapest model and $63 for the complete version. The features most students probably will opt in for includes:

  • Multi Touch Projective paneling
  • Cortex A8 1ghz processor
  • 512 Mb Ram
  • 4 GB Flash Memory
  • Android 4.0.3l1 Front VGA camera
  • Wifi
  • Mini USB ports
  • Microphone and speakers

The commercial version of the Aakash 2, called The Ubislate, will be sold for roughly $20 USD more than the Aakash2 tablet and will in essence only have GPRS integrated for SIM cards and the works.

In the United States, Intel has been working on a similar program but hasn’t released any details on the project.

On the other hand, it has already been speculated that Google’s Nexus 7 could become the standard tablet for the classroom. Google could even sweeten the deal by reducing the already rock-bottom price of the tablet for bulk purchases by schools.

These classroom tablets will probably have a more restrictive UI, with built-in features that would allow teachers to monitor all the devices. And of course, these devices would have software that would ban certain websites from all tablets within the classroom. So say goodbye to Facebook and Twitter, students.

As countries like India and China rapidly to modernize their own classrooms, the U.S. has yet to really see its own education system fully take advantage of its massive tablet market. Toys’R Us recently announced their Tabeo for children, so it appears that tablets will be integral part of childhood in the near future, so it makes sense for these devices to follow kids into the schools.