india_tablet A couple of days ago, Paul mentioned the skeptical reaction that a new $35 tablet device from India is getting within India, but as far as I can tell we never actually went into any detail about the device itself.

According to a post from our sister blog Gadgetell (linking an article at The Guardian), the device will be Linux powered and come with 2 GB of memory, video conferencing capability, and a USB port. It can run on solar panel, battery, or AC power.

PC World also has an article looking at the device, and an editorial pointing out that even if it doesn’t run apps for iPad or Windows, the increasing importance of the cloud means that it will still be quite useful even with just a web browser.

Something that I’ve not seen mentioned in most of the other sources I’ve seen reporting this story (though Wired does mention it briefly) is that this is hardly the first super-low-budget laptop computer planned to come out of India—and if it materializes, it will be the first actually to do so.

Back in 2007, in reaction to the $100 OLPC XO-1 project (which they felt still cost too much), an Indian government ministry announced plans to make a laptop for the unbelievable price of $10 (though total costs were estimated at $47 at that point). In 2008, it was announced that it would start at $100, instead. In January 2009, they announced that it would definitely be $10 again (though at that point it was costing them $20)…then in April, 2009, India ordered 250,000 of those “too expensive” XO-1s instead.

It is not clear whether the $35 tablet is being developed by the same people responsible for the “$10 laptop”. Either way, if they are actually able to deliver something more than vapor at that price point, it could still teach the OLPC group and its $99 Marvell Moby tablet a thing or two.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail