08.09.2010 10:04

India: India’s $35 Android tablet set to be released sometimes in Jan 2011

Category: new notebook models
By: Pallab Jyotee Hazarika

The tablet, called Sakshat, is well under way to production under supervision of HCL

The Sakshat

The Sakshat

The project

The highly anticipated $35 tablet called Sakshat (a Sanskrit word that means Embodiment) is set to arrive in the market sometime early next year (more likely January) – as reported by Technically personal. This Android tablet is being developed by HCL under Govt. of India supervision. HCL, an approx $5 billion Indian IT firm, is supposed to manufacture about 100,000 such units as part of a project to help technology reach the mass of a developing economy. About `300 million has been allocated to the project by Govt. of India, and by the look of the direction that the project is taking – it is pretty clear that the Indian Govt. is seriously considering this.


The Sakshat will come in three screen sizes – 5-inch, 7-inch and 9-inch, of which only the 7-inch one will be made available in the first phase. Last month, IT Minister Kapil Sibal gave a demo of the machine, which revealed 2GB of RAM under a resistive touch-screen. Not sure if it will support multi-touch but I think that would be anyway asking too much from a $35 tablet.

There will not be any hard-drive so you will have to manage storage with an SD card for which there is a mini SD card slot available – along with other usual I/O ports like a mini USB port and a full-fledged one, SIM card slot and video out. The SIM card slot could mean a voice call support, or GPRS access apart from the usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi and 3G.

Look and feel

The gadget looks pretty slim in Mr. Sibal’s hands. It has a black matte finish with four hard shortcut keys and the speaker below, or on one side depending upon how you are holding it.

Operating System

You have pretty much everything you need with Android. There are the document-on-the-go and iReader among other apps. Good news is that the Sakshat is not limited to Android only, Microsoft is reportedly offering Windows CE, and there is also option for a Linux OS. Mr. Sibal invites suggestions and innovations from the open source community to make the tablet better.

Pricing and availability

 The tablet, as mentioned above, is expected to arrive early next year. The $35 price-tag is for the educational institutes and was only possible due to the 1 million bulk order received by HCL. If it were to be in the retail market, the price is expected to rise.

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Author: Notebookcheck, 2005-09-20 (Update: 2011-05- 3)