India developing $35 touch-screen tablet

Many were surprised when the iPad debuted at a reasonably affordable $499. The collection of slate competitors poised to take on the Apple slate are just around the corner, or so we keep hearing, and they’re expected to stick with similar pricing. Some will no doubt be cheaper than the base iPad model, but it seems unlikely that any will dip substantially below the $400 mark. Surely, none will come close to the budget tablet being developed by India’s “elite technical universities.” Billed as the country’s answer to the OLPC, the touch-screen slate is expected to retail for a scant $35—just $5 more than the cost of an iPad dock.

Details are scarce at the moment, but the device is said to be capable of basic word processing, web browsing, and videoconferencing. According to Engadget, the Indian slate can also open PDF files and play YouTube videos. USB connectivity is included, putting it one step ahead of the iPad on the that front. There’s an optional solar panel, too, and it looks like Android and Linux are both being considered as potential operating systems.

As one might suspect, this tablet is being targeted at the educational market. The Indian government even plans to subsidize the cost for students, knocking the slate’s price down to just $20. Production could start as early as next year, although no one’s signed on to actually manufacturer the device. If the OLPC project is any indication, the final price could be quite a bit higher than the initial $35 estimate.

Comments closed
    • dpaus
    • 12 years ago

    Think of this as a large smartphone without the expensive cellular radio components, and it’s doable. Still, I’d love to see the parts list. I wonder how many of the key (read: “expensive”) components are sourced from local vendors operating under questionable technology licensing agreements.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 12 years ago

    on the pure basis of materials a cheap touch pad may be comparable to a keyboard.

    • Imperor
    • 12 years ago

    There are lots of 7″ Tablets on eBay at about $100!
    Nothing fancy, but a 600MHz AMD CPU, 256 GB DDR2 RAM and 11b/g/n running android should do pretty fine and at $200 you get a 1GHz DC and a 10″ screen.
    Cheap tablets aren’t exactly new…

    • Amien
    • 12 years ago

    Haven’t you guys heard of the nano(car)?

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 12 years ago

    The Kwik-E-Pad, now available at select Kwik-E-Mart gas stations scattered throughout your city.

    • aatu
    • 12 years ago

    What languages do you think ARE inferior, exactly?

    And give me one example of a country where the level of education is held back by the language itself (instead of poor economy and/or non-existent education system).

    • glacius555
    • 12 years ago

    I believe Asia did well in science some centuries ago, when Latin speaking folks were busy burning heretics..

    • shank15217
    • 12 years ago

    Troll much?

    • urbain
    • 12 years ago

    Those third world nations don’t understand a fundamental aspect of education which is a proper language,so the brain would be able to percept,analyse and then interpret the end result or theory of the observed or studied phenomena.
    They think that if they manufacture or get some high tech devices,they’re done.
    A proper education needs a proper scientific advanced language such as Latin or any of its many derivatives such as English,French,Spanish,Russian

    • Sargent Duck
    • 12 years ago

    Probably made out of all those old PC components we ship over there as trash. Wait, sorry, that’s China we send them to.

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 12 years ago

    “manufacturer the device”?!

    • wira020
    • 12 years ago

    Even at $100 it’d still be dirt cheap for a tablet.. I hope this is real.. it’d definitely put some pressure on some other manufacturer..

    • ShadowTiger
    • 12 years ago

    There real question is… will I also be able to get a basic functionality tablet for $50 in the US?

    • Skrying
    • 12 years ago

    They most likely want to avoid mechanical parts for reliability reasons.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    I dont get it. Your aim is to make the absolute cheapest functional laptop you can, and you still want a touchscreen on it? A normal keyboard will almost certainly be cheaper. Feature creep killed the OLPC, i expect this will end up costing far more than $35.

    • ironoutsider
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, would the parts even cost that much? Obviously this must be a joke.

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