First Look at the UbiSlate 7Ci
Datawind has long been talking up the possibilities of a super-cheap Android tablet, but it was only recently that their tablets were available in the US. If you’re like me and have been wondering what an American thinks of this "below the bottom of the barrel" hardware, then you might want to check out a new post by David Rothman.
David has been excitedly talking about Datawind’s sub-$50 budget tablet for a couple weeks now, and he finally got his hands on one a few days ago. Needless to say, he’s impressed. David has already installed the OverDrive app and other reading apps installed, courtesy of Google Play, and he likes this tablet as an ereader.
You can read the full post here.
My unit is still somewhere in the mail, so I am gnashing my teeth that David got his before me. But even though I don’t have one yet I know that I won’t see eye to eye with David. For one thing, I see this as a $48 tablet, not a $38 tablet; David is making the tablet look like a better deal by not including the $10 shipping charge.
And I’m glad that it works as an ereader, because with the 800 x 480 resolution 7″ screen and the single core 1GHz CPU, it’s not going to be good for much more than an ereader (and if you’re lucky, Angry Birds). I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but in 2012 I got my hands on several tablets with specs similar to the Ubislate. They were workable ereaders but were often too slow to do anything much more sophisticated than some basic games. Some were even frustrating to use for tasks as simple as email – they were that slow.
There are in fact quite a few tablets with similar specs which can be found on Amazon, Walmart, or other retail sites, but Datawind is getting the hype. This company got its start in supplying an even cheaper tablet to the Indian govt’s education ministry as part of the Aakash subsidized tablet program.
That firstwas a stinker which never lived up to the hype, but given the price that should really come as no surprise. It had a $50 (retail, the subsidized price was $35) price tag when it finally debuted in October 2011; that was an impressive accomplishment at the time.