Update (Oct 5th 2011): Sakshat $35 tablet will be officially released today by Mr Kapil Sibal. As we had mentioned before you cannot buy Sakshat online or in retail stores as it will be sold to some colleges directly by the government. It costs just Rs.1200 (around $25)!
Remember Sakshat? The $35 tablet from the Indian government, touted as the world’s cheapest laptop has finally come through the production phase and made it to the market. Sakshat will be launching this month for a relatively higher price of Rs 2200, which is around $49!
The low cost tablet was full of controversies, ever since it was announced back in July last year. It was supposed to be launched by January 2011, but was met with lot of hurdles in its way. HCL, which had initially won the tender for producing 1 million units of Sakshat was booted out, which in turn delayed the launch by 6 more months.
The Indian government has announced that 10,000 units of Sakshat tablets will be delivered to IIT-Rajasthan in late June and over the next four months 90,000 more would be made available at a price of Rs 2,200 per device. The government also said that they will subsidize the cost by 50%, so a student would have to pay only Rs. 1,100 for the device.
As you might already know, the 7″ resistive touch screen tablet will be powered by an open source OS (Android?) and comes with a decent hardware specs like 32GB hard disk, 2GB RAM, 2 USB ports and impressive software features like video conferencing facility, WiFi connectivity & multimedia support. We should make it clear that these specs and features are not official yet and we still need to see for ourselves how good the tablet is.
Assuming the best possible scenario of a decent & usable tablet at such a low cost, it should turn out to be a boon for students and education in India. There are no plans as such to release the tablet for the retail markets for now.