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Datawind Launches a $38 Android Tablet in the US

Datawind, theubislate 7ci android tablet tech partner behind India’s Aakash educational tablet program, is releasing their first tablet in the US this week.

The UbiSlate 7Ci attempts to answer the question: How cheap is too cheap?

This 7″ tablet costs a mere $37.99 when bought from Datawind (plus $9.99 shipping), giving it a price about $4 or $5 less than the $50 tablet that Chris posted about on Teleread yesterday. I wouldn’t expect to be amazed by the performance, build quality, or components. The 7Ci runs Android 4.0 ICS on a single-core 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, a VGA webcam, Wifi, almost no storage, and (most importantly) no Google Play access.

Its 7″ screen has a resolution of 800 x 480, far below what you should look for on any decent quality budget tablet. This tablet also has a microSD card slot, which is a good thing given that much of the 4GB of internal storage is taken up by the Android OS firmware.

ubislate 7ci android tabletAnd worst of all, this tablet lacks Google Play. That’s going to make it harder for users to get apps and content (but not impossible). On the other hand, perhaps not having Google play won’t matter much; this tablet is underpowered by today’s standards so it probably can’t run most apps.

This tablet is truly going to be a stinker by the standards of 2013, but what else would you expect from the price?


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Thomas December 16, 2013 um 3:34 pm

This is the exact same specs as my tablet, but I paid $99 almost 2 years ago. And mine didn’t have a webcam. Mine probably has a better battery, though.

Nate Hoffelder December 16, 2013 um 4:31 pm

Yes, and I had one too. It was not a bad tablet, but the 7Ci probably is. The cost of decent quality components probably hasn’t dropped that much in the past 2 years. This tablet almost certainly has to be using cut rate parts.

Thomas December 17, 2013 um 11:17 am

The cost of most of these components has dropped some in the last few years. Factories churned out millions of single-core processors, 4 GB flash chips, and 800×480 LCD screens. All of these are obsolete now, and selling for a fraction of the original costs. The reason I mentioned the battery is because it’s one of the few tablet components that doesn’t depreciate after a year or two.

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