Tablet Maker, Datawind, has announced four new low cost commercial Android tablets under the UbiSlate series, dubbed as UbiSlate 7Ri, UbiSlate 7R+, UbiSlate 7Ci, and UbiSlate 7C+.

Pre-loaded Apps: According to a statement from the company, users of these new tablets will have access to content available on the Sakshat website and other educational websites, although there is no word on the range of the educational websites available and if the access is exclusive to UbiSlate users or not.

Datawind has also preloaded its own browser called Ubisurfer which claims to have features like compression, acceleration, IE8 rendering and the ability to easily render content on traditional GPRS networks. According to the UbiSlate website, UbiSurfer claims to accelerate web pages by 10x to 30x.

Besides this, Datawind has also pre-loaded several third party apps in these tablets, in lieu of its partnerships with various content and service providers as announced in April 2012. Among the apps pre-loaded in these newly launched Android tablets include:

– Indian Express news app. In April 2012, Datawind was also offering 50% discount on the annual subscription for The Indian Express and The Financial Express to the new customers of UbiSlate 7+ and 7C tablets, however there is no word if the same discount is being offered for the customers of these newly announced Android tablets as well.

–  Yahoo! Cricket and Yahoo! Mail apps. Datawind also stated it has preloaded Yahoo! India webpage onto these tablets as a portal. However it is not clear if the webpage has been set as the default browser homepage, like in the case of Ubislate 7+ and Ubislate 7C Android tablets, or it has been pre-loaded just as a browser bookmark.
– Reverie Language solutions to support over a dozen indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, and Punjabi/Gurmukhi among others.
– Mango Learning solutions for game based educational modules, interactive smart books and the full CBSE curriculum.
– TestBag, a testing and e-assessment solution from RKS Learning Private Ltd.
– Intelligaia finger tracing apps to teach letter writing for toddlers.
– In April 2012, Datawind had partnered with GetJar, the independent app store, to pre-install the GetJar app store on all Datawind tablets, including Aakash and UbiSlate.

Device Specs: All the four tablets features similar specifications albeit a few minor changes. They run on Android 4.0.3 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ and have a 7″ screen with a resolution of 800*480, Cortex A8 processor, 1GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal flash memory, front VGA camera and connectivity options like micro SD and mini USB ports, WiFi, and 3.5mm headset jack.

Speaking of the differences between these tablets, UbiSlate 7Ri and 7R+ will feature a resistive touchscreen displays while UbiSlate 7Ci, and UbiSlate 7C+ feature a capacitive display. Also, Ubislate 7R+ and UbiSlate 7C+ will feature GPRS capabilities and a 3200MHz battery which claims to offer a battery life of 3-4 hours, while UbiSlate 7Ri and 7Ci are Wi-Fi only models and claims to offer a battery life of up to 3 hours (180 minutes).

Pricing & Availability: Datawind stated that these new tablets will be available in the price range of Rs 2,999 – Rs 4,499, although there is no information on the specific pricing or the availability of these tablets, yet. Interestingly, the company website has no mention of these new tablets at the time of writing this article.

Its also worth noting that Datawind has increased the pricing of UbiSlate 7+ to Rs 3,499 from Rs 2,999. The company attributes this increase to the decreasing value of the Rupee against the US dollar over the last year. It claims that the Rupee has dropped by 26% in value over the last year and since majority of the tablet components are still imported, the company’s costs have increased by the same amount. That being said, Datawind says that it has increased the pricing by only 15%, whereas its competitors have increased the pricing of their tablets by almost 30%.

Upgraded Aakash Tablet Available Early Next Year: In April 2012, Datawind had stated in a press conference, held to clear the air surrounding the Aakash tablet project, that it was planning to deliver the upgraded Aakash tablet in May 2012. However, according to a recent Economic Times report, the company is now planning to distribute 100,000 Aakash tablet among colleges early next year, with production starting from November this year and testing starting from this month (September 2012). The report also adds that the new tablet will run on Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ and feature a 1GHz processor.


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