One wouldn't expect any sort of tablet or media slate of at least decent specifications to sell for less than several hundred dollars. Still, there are always exceptions to the rule, and the Indian Government decided to make a very big one by showing off the Sakshat. With a name that means 'personification' in Sanskrit, the slate will be used in schools, to distribute the curriculum in an interactive format. It will also be employed to drive 'e-classrooms' for live-streaming classes. This will allow eminent teachers to reach students from across the country.
The price of the electronic is its most striking trait. Initially, it will sell for about 1,500 Indian Rupes, or about US$30. This tag is already incredibly small compared to all other tablet on sale right now, but it will supposedly drop to $10 once manufacturing is streamlined. But what is most interesting is that the hardware is quite capable.
At the heart of the 10.5-inch tablet lies an ARM chip. The exact chip set to be used has not been disclosed, but it is known that 2GB of memory will be present to back it up. The display is a color touchscrenn with multi-touch support. Furthermore, the configuration includes cloud storage, 10/100 Ethernet, WiFi b/g , a so-called highly-customized operating system and even support for Adobe Flash. Thus, there will be no issues regarding online videos and interactive educational content. Finally, the device comes with a digital camera and compatibility with OpenOffice.org documents, Adobe PDF and various multimedia formats.
The slate was developed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) students and will benefit from a network that connects 18,000 educational institutions and 400 universities. This network is part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology.
"When we started the project, the response from the private sector was lukewarm. Now many are willing to join the innovation," said Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal."We will give some subsidy on the device. As far as transport is concerned, if the transport cost in less, the government can bear that as well".