Editor’s Note: This review was originally published on Oct 6, 2011 at GeekZu.com. I was one of the first people to post a detailed review of the device back then.
Costing a fraction of Apple’s iPad, the subsidized Aakash is aimed at students. It supports web browsing and video conferencing, has a three-hour battery life and two USB ports, but questions remain over how it will perform.
At the launch in the Indian capital, Delhi, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal handed out 500 Aakash (meaning sky) tablets to students who will test them, including me.
And hence, here comes MashGeek’s review of the Aakash tablet.
Dimensions: 190.5 x 118.5 x 15.7mm
Screen: 7″ resistive touchscreen
Operating System Android 2.2
Processor: 366MHz processor
Connectivity: 2 full USB ports, Wi-fi
Memory: 256MB RAM
Storage: 2GB Flash memory + 2GB Micro SD card (expandable to 32GB)
Battery: 2100mAh. It lasts 1.5 to 2 hours when watching HD videos and 3 hours on average use.
The final retail price is Rs. 2,276 which is about $50. For a student it will cost Rs. 1500 or thereabout.
The tablet has a rubber-feel body, which makes the user like holding it. It’s not a lot slim, not a lot light-weight, but definitely isn’t a thumbs-down on the form factor. The device fits quite well into the hands, and I really liked to hold it with both my hands.
The weird stickers on the back of the tablet are huge let downs. The complete “aura” of the device is ruined by these bulky, un-picturesque stickers.
Connectivity And Buttons
As promised, the device has 2 full USB ports on the left side just below the micro-SD card slot.
On the bottom side are a charging port, the Power button and a 3.5mm Audio out jack.
Aakash tablet runs on Android 2.2, with 256MB RAM and a 366MHz processor. While the OS might attract customers, the overall usage is a let-down. The resistive touch screen is, well, resistive, and the response is pretty slow.
At certain times, the screen acts weird, and changes colors, literally!
Included are a few useful applications like Facebook, Browser, PDF reader, Office Suite etc.
I especially liked the experience of reading an ebook. The clarity is nice, but what really was missing was a nice page-turn animation!
Now, this isn’t a full-blown review of the Aakash tablet because I have played it with for just 3 hours or so.
The price is great. If you are an average user, who likes to read a lot of books, surf the web, view his party photos from the last night, or just wants to add another gadget to his arsenal, then Aakash is for you.
But if you are expecting a lot of high-end processing power, then I would say move-on, you’d just be wasting your time.
This is how the Aakash compares to other tablets, including the mighty iPad:
If you know anything else about Aakash, or any hidden features, please mention them in the comments below. I would love to read about your experience.