Print 18 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Jul 25 at 2:24 PM

  (Source: AFP)
The prototype is similar to the iPad and could go into production by 2011.

India is in the process of developing a touchscreen tablet that could rival the iPad, but at just a fraction of the cost.  Aimed at students, the Linux operating system-based computer uses open-source programming and a memory card instead of a hard disk. 

The tablet would be used for word processing, web browsing and video conferencing. It would come fully equipped with an internet browser, Wi-Fi connectivity, a multimedia player, PDF reader, video conferencing ability and be supported by a two-watt backup source.  The tablet would also offer solar power, which would come at an additional cost, according to the
Associated Press and News Ok.

“We have made the breakthrough and are now ready to capture the market,” said Mamta Varma, a spokeswoman for the Human Resource Development Ministry.

India is still in search of a manufacturer for the device. 

Part of an education technology initiative with the National Mission on Education, the tablet was developed in collaboration with teachers and students from technology-based institutions from across the country. The government-operated group layout includes connecting India's 25,000 colleges and 504 universities to broadband and making study materials accessible online.

The ministry indicates that nearly 8,500 colleges have been connected and 500 web and video-based courses have been uploaded online so far.

India hopes to subsidize the cost of the tablet for its students, bringing the purchase price down to as little as $20 or $10.

The as-of-yet unnamed tablet computer could be in production by 2011.

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By Pessimism on 7/23/2010 11:38:06 AM , Rating: 5
This will end up just like the $50 OLPC that ended up costing $200, or the $100 netbook concept that now costs $300-$600

RE: sadly
By CurseTheSky on 7/23/10, Rating: 0
RE: sadly
By Mitch101 on 7/23/2010 12:11:45 PM , Rating: 4
My Chi-Pad (iPad Clone Eken M003) is getting close to being good. It cost $139.00. Its definatly not there yet and last night I was testing Windows CE on it and it was damn fast but lost touchsceen ability so I have to plug in a USB mouse. CE perfers a stylus. They just got CE ported to the device so its a work in progress still but worked very well Android ports still need some tweaks but the last bios got pretty close to being good.

The limitation seems to be the Android phone port to the device (Software limited), lack of multi touch ability but the Andoid software ports are getting better on the device.

Some will say it needs more CPU power but I think it needs just a touch of a GPU instead. ARM processor might fare better but this really should be able to do some DIVX files better.

If you took the Zune HD and gave it a bigger screen that would actually be very good.

I certainly believe someone will have a $200 tablet in the coming months that wont beat an iPad but will certainly be good enough for the majority of people out there. My Device was $139.00 and its close but I certainly believe a better CPU, little GPU, and multitouch the device would be very good. Its certainly doable and I would expect to see this by X-Mas time.

RE: sadly
By chboy20022002 on 7/23/2010 11:50:14 AM , Rating: 2
True, the original article did say that this device does not include a screen

RE: sadly
By nafhan on 7/23/2010 12:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
That makes sense.
Off the top of my head some price points for comparison:
$35 - crap digital photo frame
$65 - iPad screen

RE: sadly
By Drag0nFire on 7/23/2010 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Plus, if they really want to use it for education, they'll want to add a keyboard. And then there's not much use for the tablet capabilities, is there?

By DrApop on 7/23/2010 11:40:58 AM , Rating: 2
Why not just use Android instead?....well Android is a version/variation of linux but Android has the android market with apps that are easily installed, etc. Granted there are plenty of available apps for linux but I don't think most "normal" people are tech savvy enough to figure out where they are, how to download them, what version to get (rpm, gz, etc), what to do if a new/additional library is needed, and how to install of the failures of "regular" linux IMO.

RE: Android
By nafhan on 7/23/2010 12:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on the goal of the project. Android isn't necessarily the best environment for teaching students.
Also, have you ever tried a decent package manager like the one in Ubuntu? It's not really any more complicated than browsing the internet. Find the category and then the program you need, select install. That's it. I don't use Linux regularly, but I was very impressed with the package manager in Ubuntu. I would go so far as to say it's less complicated than install routines on Windows or OSX.

RE: Android
By drycrust3 on 7/25/2010 2:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think most "normal" people are tech savvy enough to figure out where they are, how to download them, what version to get (rpm, gz, etc), what to do if a new/additional library is needed, and how to install of the failures of "regular" linux IMO

There is another way of approach the idea of central repositories, and that is they contain programs that the distributors of that operating system have decided are compatible and legal to run and are safe to run. I enjoy the fact that if I want some software to do something, e.g. some Bible software, then I go to the synaptic manager, put "Bible" into the search field, and then browse through the results and select the software packages I want. After making a selection I click on "Apply" and, voila, the software is downloaded and installed automatically. Often I don't even need to reboot for the applications to run correctly. Oh, I missed out the fact I have to put in a password somewhere.
The point is I didn't have to use a search engine that produces millions of answers, I didn't have to try and make judgment calls as to how reputable the website is, nor whether the software is the latest version or some old version, nor whether it has only half the features it says it has, nor pacify the antivirus software about this new software. The OS distributors have done all that for me, and for free.
Yes, there are times when I want something that isn't in the central repository, but usually if I do the instructions on how to install it aren't too far away, and then the process is really a throw back to the Windows way of doing things: making a judgment and hoping for the best.

RE: Android
By JediJeb on 7/25/2010 2:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds a lot like what comes with the Linux Mint version which is based on Unbuntu Linux. I use it some and get automatic update reminders just as you would in Windows, just one or two clicks has all my current software updated, and if I want something new it is also just a couple clicks.

What I really like about the Linux install/update process is it rarely if ever asks me to reboot the machine. Why can't programs in Windows update or install without needing to reboot the machine? Sometimes even multiple reboots just to upgrade something like Adobe.

Android OS?
By tlbj6142 on 7/23/2010 11:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
Is Android OS "free"? If so, wouldn't it make more sense to use that OS rather than Linux?

RE: Android OS?
By nafhan on 7/23/2010 11:58:20 AM , Rating: 2
Android is Linux...
Anyway, it's likely that a Linux distribution tailored to the perceived needs of the average Indian student will be used.

By techer on 7/23/2010 11:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
At that price point, I can afford to buy one of those for every member in my family and an extra one for the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms for the house! This is awesome news...where can I place my order?!

By Stuka on 7/23/2010 12:58:01 PM , Rating: 2

Who knew!?
By snakeInTheGrass on 7/24/2010 6:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
India is in the process of developing a touchscreen tablet that could rival the iPad, but at just a fraction of the cost. Aimed at students, the Linux operating system-based computer uses open-source programming and a memory card instead of a hard disk.

Son-of-a... and here I thought the iPad had 16GB or 32GB flash memory. Now if this fancy new tablet replaces the iPad's physical keyboard with some sort of clever software keyboard, I'm sold!

RE: Who knew!?
By snakeInTheGrass on 7/24/2010 6:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to reply to myself, particularly because my own comments are already so eloquent, but SCREEN-LESS!? Hahahaha! Whoever wants to buy one for every family member and room in their house, I say hurry while supplies last! :)

I thought it was funny
By amanojaku on 7/23/2010 11:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
That when I viewed this page I got this quote. I really want to see this thing in action. :-)
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

And it's flaws are...
By Alexstarfire on 7/25/2010 12:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
I pretty much stopped taking the article seriously when I read that it's going to use Linux. I have no problem using Linux myself, but to say that it "could rival the iPad" while using Linux is just a joke. Is it April 1st already? Linux stands no chance in the computer market, yet. And before anyone says anything Android is no more Linux than iOS is OS X. They may have spawned from them, but they can hardly be considered the same.

I also noticed how it said the $35 or so price is after subsidies that they are hoping to get. Well damn, if you're including subsidies in your market price then just about every damn cell phone is free, in the US anyway. Of course this isn't true at all. I had falsely assumed that somehow they got the costs down to $35.

Naturally I was duped by the very misleading headline.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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