The UbiSlate 7Ci has gone on sale in the UK, at a price of just £30.
Produced by UK company Datawind, the tablet is the commercial version of Datawind's Aakash 2 tablet, which has been on sale in India and is mainly used in the education sector.
The seven-inch tablet features Wi-Fi, 512MB RAM, micro USB connection and 4GB of storage. It runs the Android platform, but only supports up to version 4.0.3 - Ice Cream Sandwich.
In India, the tablet has been marketed as the "world's cheapest tablet", but for Datawind founder Suneet Singh Tuli "it's not just about creating low-cost devices; for us it's about delivering the internet".
The company said the tablet can be offered at such a low price due to content and advertising revenue offsetting production costs.
Datawind has been accused of buying a Chinese product and simply reselling it in the Indian market, but the company has responded by saying the tablets are sourced from China in kit form, but built and programmed in Datawind facilities in Amritsar, Punjab and Delhi.
From its specifications, it could easily be argued that the UbiSlate 7Ci will not meet expected performance standards when compared to the majority of tablets on the market today, with Google's high-spec Nexus 7 coming in at just under £200, and a wealth of other options, including Tesco's £130 Hudl, also offering fair solutions at a reasonably low cost.
However, in a UK education sector that still seems to be responding to cheap computing education resources such as the sub-£30 Raspberry Pi, which has sold two million units and is now an industry in itself, a £30 Android tablet could potentially find a place.
With software such as Android Scratch Player, which lets students play versions of programmes they could produce in the Scratch coding environment on PC or Rasbperry Pi, or Google's own Android App Inventor, which is native to the platform, coding can be carried out on low-specification Android devices. A school could equip classrooms with the £30 UbiSlate 7Ci and save on display and interface hardware costs that can prove the downside of Raspberry Pi uptake.
The UbiSlate 7Ci is available from the UbiSlate UK website now.
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